Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Ceisteanna (418, 419, 420, 421, 422, 423, 424)

Jimmy Deenihan

Ceist:

478 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if single farm payments are attached to the land in the event of a herd owner dying without making a will; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11117/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Agriculture and Food)

The position is that the introduction of the Single Payment Scheme in 2005 brought the new concept of Payment Entitlements into the direct payments system. Payment entitlements are not attached to land but are the property of the farmer who was farming during the reference period and was in receipt of direct payments under one or more of the Livestock Premium and/or Arable Aid schemes. Entitlements may now be sold with or without land but can only be sold without land once 80% have been used in one calendar year. On the other hand entitlements may only be leased to another farmer if accompanied by an equivalent number of hectares of eligible land. Entitlements may also of course be transferred, with or without land, by gift or through inheritance. The registration details of entitlements may also be changed (for example from one name to joint names). In the event of inheritance of an estate where the land is bequeathed to one party and the residue of the estate is bequeathed to another party, the entitlements form part of the residue of the estate unless otherwise specified in the will. Where no will exists the entitlements, while forming part of the estate, are not attached to the land. My Department has taken every opportunity of informing farmers and others about the rules pertaining to the transfer of payment entitlements. The Department has also written to the Incorporated Law Society pointing out the need for members of the legal profession, who are dealing with the succession of estates where Single payment entitlements are involved, to fully familiarise themselves with the rules pertaining to these entitlements.

Ned O'Keeffe

Ceist:

479 Mr. N. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if she will permit a person (details supplied) in County Cork to sell their entitlements under the EU single farm payment scheme. [11129/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The position is that my Department has no record of having received an application from the person named to sell his entitlements. The Regulations governing the transfer of entitlements allow that Single payment entitlements may be transferred without land only if the transferor has used at least 80% of his entitlements. A person uses entitlements by submitting one hectare of land per entitlement on their Single payment scheme application form. While the person named activated his entitlements in 2005 he did not in fact use any of them in 2005 or 2006. My Department wrote to the person named in February of this year outlining the position with regard to his non-utilised entitlements and advising him of his options for 2007. The case will now be examined in the light of the details supplied by the Deputy and my Department will write to the person named shortly.

Ned O'Keeffe

Ceist:

480 Mr. N. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the position regarding the EU single farm payment for 2006 in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork whose documentation has been submitted and who has expressed concern that this needs to be finalised to ensure his correct entitlements are issued under their 2007 application. [11150/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The position is that an application for the Transfer of Entitlements under the 2006 Single Payment Scheme to the person named was submitted on 28 December 2006. The application was accepted even though the closing date for completed applications to transfer entitlements was 16 May 2006. During processing of the Transfer application, it was necessary for an official of my Department to write to the person named to seek clarification on certain matters relating to the application. Further documentation was received on 7 March 2007. The application is now fully processed and payment in respect of 27.21 transferred entitlements will issue shortly.

John McGuinness

Ceist:

481 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if she will re-examine the case of a person (detail supplied) in County Carlow under force majeure in view of the hardship of their case; if the penalty imposed will be removed or reduced; and if she will expedite a positive outcome to their case. [11195/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The position is that an application under the Single Payment Scheme-Disadvantaged Area Compensatory Allowance Scheme was received from the person named on 12 May 2006. As part of the control procedures under EU legislation governing the Single Payment Scheme, the application was randomly selected for and was the subject of a cross compliance inspection on 4 November 2006. During the course of the inspection errors were discovered with regard to the identification and registration of bovine animals that resulted in a 5% cross compliance penalty being recorded. The person named had also been the subject of a cross compliance inspection in 2005 and had incurred a 5% penalty for a similar infringement. Under the EU Regulations governing Cross Compliance and the rules regarding repetition of non-compliance, his penalty in 2005 was therefore multiplied by 3 to calculate the final penalty for 2006. This has resulted in a 15% penalty being applied to his Single Payment for 2006. If the person named is not satisfied with the result of the inspection, he may seek a review by contacting his Local Office. To date no review has been sought. He also has the right to appeal the outcome of any such review.

Gerard Murphy

Ceist:

482 Mr. G. Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if all moneys due to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry for 2006 have been awarded; the breakdown of all moneys granted for 2006; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11207/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

While the person named established no Single Payment Scheme Entitlements during the reference period in his own name, he has received two sets of entitlements under the entitlements transfer process of the Scheme. The person named has been fully paid in respect of these entitlements, as follows: payment of €16,901.62, issued on 14 December 2006; a second payment, containing Dairy Premium Top Up, of €2,718.93, issued on 1 March 2007. The refund of Modulation, €200.00, issued on 15 March 2007.

Gerard Murphy

Ceist:

483 Mr. G. Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if all moneys due to a person (details supplied) in County Cork have been awarded; if so, the payment made, the amount and date of issue; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11210/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The person named submitted an application to transfer entitlements under the 2006 Single Payment Scheme on 1 December 2006 following the dissolution of a partnership. The application was accepted even though the closing date for completed applications to transfer entitlements was 16 May 2006. The application was fully processed on 6 February 2007. The person named also submitted an application under the Consolidation measure of the 2006 Single Payments Scheme. This application has been processed and balancing payment should issue in the coming days.

Gerard Murphy

Ceist:

484 Mr. G. Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if all moneys have been awarded to a person (details supplied) in County Cork; the date of payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11212/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The position is that an application for the Transfer of Entitlements under the 2006 Single Payment Scheme to the person named was submitted on 20 April 2006. During processing of the Transfer application, it was necessary for an official of my Department to write to the person named to seek outstanding documentation relating to the application. The requested documentation was received and the application is now fully processed. Payment of €3,793.13 in respect of 4.76 transferred entitlements issued to the person named on 13 February 2007.