TAMS Data

Ceisteanna (224)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

224. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of applications received under TAMS II by county; the number of approved applications; the number of payment claims lodged; the number of payment claims that have been approved for payment, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3695/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The TAMS II Scheme has been very successful to date in terms of applications. Of the applications approved over 8,200 payment claims have been submitted to date and payments to the value of €105.6m have issued. The information requested in relation to the TAMS II Scheme is shown in tabular form:

County

Applications Received

Approved

Payment Claims Received

Approved For Payment

Carlow

413

313

153

137

Cavan

784

587

228

199

Clare

652

518

256

248

Cork

3666

2875

1389

1199

Donegal

1172

897

297

271

Dublin

142

115

58

54

Galway

1532

1197

536

478

Kerry

1508

1144

497

464

Kildare

533

382

178

161

Kilkenny

1175

931

495

429

Laois

688

546

275

263

Leitrim

289

211

84

69

Limerick

1096

879

419

380

Longford

301

229

90

82

Louth

285

225

101

87

Mayo

868

634

251

218

Meath

770

597

270

251

Monaghan

702

550

212

179

Offaly

538

403

190

176

Roscommon

756

578

260

223

Sligo

311

243

97

76

Tipperary

1892

1511

796

725

Waterford

739

600

296

260

Westmeath

523

399

163

152

Wexford

1338

1039

499

454

Wicklow

421

321

129

115

Grand Total

23094

17924

8219

7350

Agrifood Sector

Ceisteanna (225)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

225. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the steps he is taking to protect Irish agrifood interests at EU level in the upcoming EU-US trade discussions, following the US outlining objectives that put a strong emphasis on negotiating tariffs and non-tariff barriers for agriculture (details supplied). [3696/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Ireland's position on increased market access into the EU for beef or any other food products from the US or other third countries is well-known. I will vigorously defend the interests of the Irish and EU food sectors against this outcome from any trade negotiations that would have negative consequences for the sector.

The EU Commission has made its position very clear from the outset that they will not discuss market access/tariff reductions with the food/agriculture sector. Furthermore, Commissioner Malmstrom has indicated that the EU will not formally start negotiations with the US if the United States Trade Representative insists on including agriculture in its negotiating mandate.

Beef Industry

Ceisteanna (226)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

226. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of cattle slaughtered that originated from factory feedlots at approved beef exporting plants; and the percentage of such cattle from the total national beef kill in 2017 and 2018, in tabular form. [3697/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The detailed information requested by the Deputy, taking account of the end year figures for 2018, is not yet available and will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Teagasc Courses

Ceisteanna (227)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

227. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of green certificates issued by 31 December 2018 for students who had passed their exams during 2018; and the number of outstanding green certificates outstanding on 31 December 2018 to be issued by certification operators to persons who successfully completed and passed their exams in 2018. [3698/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The information requested by the Deputy is an operational matter for Teagasc who deliver the Green Cert.

Accordingly, the Deputy’s question has been passed on by my Department to Teagasc who have been requested to respond to the Deputy within 10 days.

Brexit Issues

Ceisteanna (228, 229)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

228. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if changes are planned to primary legislation under the remit of his Department to form a part of a Bill (details supplied). [3699/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

229. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if emergency legislation has been drawn up in the event of a no-deal Brexit; the number of pieces of primary legislation this includes; and if he will provide a list of same. [3700/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 228 and 229 together.

My Department has no input in the Miscellaneous Provisions (Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 29 March 2019) Bill as, based on current considerations, there is no requirement to alter primary legislation under my Departments remit for Brexit at this time.

We will, however, be amending Statutory Instruments setting the time limits for pre-notification for imports to arrive in the State for the purposes of carrying out of documentary, identity and physical checks on imports of animals, plants, and products of animal and plant origin, as set out in EU legislation and will also have a separate Statutory Instrument dealing with movements of pets including movement from the UK post Brexit.

Throughout this work, the focus of the Department will continue to be on the need to discharge its legal responsibilities while ensuring the minimum possible disruption to trade.

Brexit Issues

Ceisteanna (230)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

230. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if an application has been submitted to the EU Commission to designate additional Irish airports or ports as designated Border inspection posts in preparation for the possibility of the UK becoming a third country with the EU in 2019 in a no-deal Brexit scenario; and, if so, if the detail of such airports and ports will be provided. [3701/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department has been actively participating in the Whole-of-Government approach to preparedness and contingency planning. We have fed into the overall Government Contingency Action Plan which was published on 19 December, and we have been working very closely with colleagues in other Departments and agencies to address in particular the requirements that will arise in relation to the implementation at ports and airports of import controls on agri-food products coming from the UK.

These requirements are significant, and arise in relation to the carrying out of documentary, identity and physical checks on imports of animals, plants, and products of animal and plant origin, as set out in EU legislation.

We will be applying to the EU Commission to expand the types of products and animals that our existing Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) in Dublin Port and Dublin Airport are authorised to inspect and we are seeking Commission approval for a BIP at Rosslare Port.

In the meantime an existing site has been secured in Dublin Port for the temporary accommodation required in the event of a no deal Brexit and work on refurbishing an existing building will have commenced by the end of the month. Space is being secured for truck parking. There will be dock-levellers, parking for HGVs, toll booth facilities and a public office, along with accommodation for staff.

At the same time, permanent facilities are being developed, with sites identified and plans at an advanced stage.

At Rosslare Europort office, staff accommodation will be located at existing premises in and around the harbour and work on refurbishing them will have commenced by the end of the month. Space for truck parking is being secured.

As in Dublin Port, permanent facilities are being developed in Rosslare Europort, with a site in the harbour identified and plans at an advanced stage.

At Dublin Airport, the volumes of traffic involved in the event of a no deal Brexit can be catered for by existing facilities.

Throughout all this work, the focus of my Department will continue to be on the need to discharge its legal responsibilities while ensuring the minimum disruption to trade.

Brexit Issues

Question No. 232 answered with Question No. 35.

Ceisteanna (231)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

231. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the impact a no-deal Brexit will have on the equine industry here; and the contingencies being put in place in this regard. [3702/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The current position is that EU rules on the movement of equidae between EU Member States require that the animals being moved are inspected by an official veterinarian and accompanied by a veterinary health certificate issued under the EU TRACES system and a horse passport issued by an approved horse passport issuing body.

However, these rules also allow Member States which have implemented alternative but equivalent health control systems in their respective territories, to grant one another derogations from the standard movement rules. The derogation provided for under Community rules on the movement of equidae is applicable to movements between EU Member States only. It is not inclusive of movements between the EU and Third Countries.

Currently Ireland is part of a Tripartite Agreement (TPA), along with the UK and France which allows for the movement and trade of horses between the three countries without undergoing veterinary inspections and without health certificates. As the TPA is based on EU legislation on the movement of horses within the EU, the UK cannot be part of the Agreement once it becomes a Third Country.

The current focus of our 'no deal' contingency planning is on the arrangements that will be necessary for the Department to fulfil its legal obligations with respect to import controls on live animals and agri food products as efficiently as possible while also ensuring the minimum possible disruption to trading arrangements.

As part of this planning we are upgrading existing Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) and developing additional BIPs to cater for the increased volume of inspections necessary, including in respect of equines being imported from the UK, and making arrangements to facilitate the certification of horses to the UK as necessary.

Question No. 232 answered with Question No. 35.

Electricity Generation

Ceisteanna (233)

Michael Harty

Ceist:

233. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he received the list of options he requested from the ESB on the future of a power station (details supplied); if so, his views on same; and his views on the future of the electricity generating station. [3489/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

It is settled policy that electricity generation from coal will cease no later than 2025. This position has been set out in a number of policy documents, including the National Mitigation Plan, the National Development Plan 2018-2027 and the 2015 Energy Policy Paper, “Ireland’s Transition to a Low-Carbon Energy Future”, and most recently in the National Energy and Climate Plan. The 2016 Programme for Government included a commitment that the most suitable low-carbon technology to replace coal by 2025 would be identified.

Removing the largest single dispatchable generation plant from our energy system raises significant issues and the ESB, the owner and operator of the plant, has been asked for a report on the issues and options that arise in decommissioning the plant. As part of this study, the ESB will consider the best option in energy and climate policy terms. This work is not yet completed and I have not yet received the report. I expect to receive it shortly.

National Broadband Plan

Ceisteanna (234, 242, 243, 244)

Michael Harty

Ceist:

234. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of approval for the national broadband plan. [3490/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

242. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the ongoing progress on the programme to provide broadband of a high quality and high speed nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3664/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

243. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the extent to which the provision of broadband continues nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3665/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

244. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the extent to which efforts continue to finalise the programme for the provision of high speed, high quality broadband nationally, notwithstanding the various setbacks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3666/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 234 and 242, to 244, inclusive, together.

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to ensure high speed broadband access to all premises in Ireland, regardless of location. This is being achieved via a combination of commercial investment and a State led intervention.

The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecoms sector. In 2012, less than 700,000, or 30% of all 2.3 million Irish premises had access to high speed broadband. When this Government came into office, this had risen to 52%. Today, 74% of premises can access high speed broadband.

Commercial operators have invested over €2.75bn in upgrading and modernising their networks over the past 5 years, and further investments are planned.

Under a Commitment Agreement signed with my Department in April 2017, eir is in the process of passing 300,000 predominantly rural homes with high speed broadband. According to information submitted by eir to my Department, as of Quarter 4 2018 the company has passed some 225,000 premises nationwide as part of its ongoing deployment. This is in the process of verification by officials in my Department.

Information on eir's planned rural deployment is available on that company’s website, http://fibrerollout.ie/Eircode-lookup/. A copy of the Commitment Agreement is available on my Department’s website, www.dccae.gov.ie.

The procurement process to appoint a bidder for the State intervention network is now at the final stage. My priority is to bring the procurement process to a fair and impartial conclusion as quickly as possible and I will bring a recommendation to Government in this regard in the coming weeks.

For those premises currently awaiting access to high speed broadband, practical initiatives will continue to be addressed through the work of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce to address obstacles and improve connectivity in respect of existing and future mobile phone and broadband services.

Under this Taskforce, engagement between telecommunications operators and local authorities through the Broadband Officers is continuing. These Broadband Officers are acting as single points of contact in local authorities for their communities. The appointment of these officers is already reaping rewards in terms of ensuring a much greater degree of consistency in engagements.