Brexit Supports

Ceisteanna (380, 381)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

380. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to upgrade the Port of Cork to the status of a border inspection post; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38346/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

381. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to upgrade Cork Airport to the status of a border inspection post in the event of a no-deal Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38347/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 380 and 381 together.

My Department has been actively participating in the whole-of-Government approach to Brexit preparedness and contingency planning. This includes the designation and approval of border inspection posts at ports and airports. The focus to date has been on infrastructure developments and upgrades at border inspection posts in Dublin port, Rosslare and Dublin airport, due to the volume of trade flows with the UK.

The decision to designate or seek approval for facilities at a port or airport to carry out import controls on certain regulated products and live animals is based on trade flow analysis and is typically driven by a request from the authority responsible for that port or airport.

Once such a request is received, this begins a process to identify where such a facility could be built. The requirements for a border inspection post would be outlined, which would include the inspection facilities and the accommodation requirements for the staff. This facility would need to comply with the relevant EU regulations, and be approved for use by the Commission.

The Port of Cork Company has approached my Department with respect to the establishment of a border inspection post in the Port. However, in December 2018, they advised my Department that they did not intend to pursue the construction of a border inspection post at that time.

Although the Port of Cork does not have an approved border inspection post, it is designated as a point of entry for bulk shipments of wood and wood products as outlined in Council Directive 2000/29, as amended. The facility conducting these controls is currently in operation.

Cork Airport has not engaged with my Department with respect to the potential construction of a border inspection post.

My Department would consider any requests received on a case-by-case basis but the immediate focus is on preparing for a potential no-Deal Brexit on 31 October within a whole-of-Government approach including further developing our existing border inspection posts.

Alternative Energy Projects

Ceisteanna (382)

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

382. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding funding streams to subsidise, promote and implement storage energy units, which harness the power of solar and wind energy, within the Irish agribusiness sector; the position regarding the provision of grant funding for farmers for initial purchase of such self-sufficient renewable storage energy units for the purpose of promoting and implementing energy self-sufficiency for agribusinesses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38521/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment has lead responsibility for energy policy and activities within the renewable energy sector.

However, my Department does support energy efficiency measures and deployment of renewable technologies through the Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme (TAMS II). I recently announced a €10 million energy grant through TAMS, and, in particular, I introduced grant-aid for solar PV installation of up to 6kWp that includes solar photovoltaic panels, an inverter & controller and a solar PV rechargeable battery.

In addition, a variety of energy saving measures such as; LED lighting, plate coolers, heat transfer units and ice builders are available for the Dairy sector under TAMS II. For the Pigs and Poultry sector, there is a range of grant-aid available including biomass boilers, electrical heat pads, energy efficient LED lighting, indirect heating systems, solar panels for water heating, ventilation fans and control systems, insulation for doors, roofs and walls, air source heat pumps and heat recovery units. Full details of the wide variety of investment items are available on the my Department’s website: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/s/search.html?query=tams&collection=dafm-search.

Agri-industry are now also beginning to partner with energy suppliers to increase the renewable energy take-up at farm level. Glanbia Ireland, working in partnership with SSE Airtricity and Activ8 Solar Energies recently introduced FarmGen, a farm generated renewable energy initiative. The initiative will offer complementary support to TAMS and will include installation of a 6Kw Solar PV system and a smart metering system which will monitor energy generation and consumption in real-time and include export meters that will have the ability to potentially profit from future incentives to return electricity on to the grid.

As we transition to a low-carbon economy and society to meet our EU 2030 targets and move towards carbon neutrality for the agriculture and land use sector, partnerships in the sector have a key role to play in renewable energy as a key supplier of bioenergy feedstock and in the longer term as a renewable energy provider.

Brexit Supports

Ceisteanna (383)

Martin Kenny

Ceist:

383. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the rules of the BEAM scheme will be reviewed (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38218/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

BEAM applicants who are not a member of one of my Department's environmental schemes have the option of committing to join Bord Bia's Quality Assurance scheme by 1st December. In cases where this is not possible, applicants should seek an appeal of their application and their case will be examined on an individual basis.

The scheme is now operational and the rules cannot be revised.

Fur Farming

Ceisteanna (384)

Ruth Coppinger

Ceist:

384. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the progress in the banning of fur farming; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38237/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department is in the process of preparing a Bill to provide for a phased introduction of a ban on fur farming. Along with animal welfare considerations, social and economic aspects in relation to the industry need to be taken into account. The Bill will make it illegal for any new fur farms to be established and put in place phase out arrangements for the small number of current operators. This will allow for an orderly wind down of the sector and allow time for employees to find alternative opportunities.

The necessary work to prepare the appropriate legislation is ongoing within my Department.

Living Wage

Ceisteanna (385)

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

385. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of workers employed by his Department and in each office or agency under the aegis of his Department who earn less than the living wage of €12.30 per hour; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38247/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The table below outlines the number of staff, by grade, employed by my Department who are earning a wage of less than €12.30 per hour.

Staff earning less than €12.30 per hour

Grade

No. of staff

Clerical Officer

150

Cleaner

2

Services Officer

7

General Operative

2

ICT Apprentice

1

Technical Agricultural Officer 104

104

Total:

Total: 266

The information in respect of State Bodies under the aegis of this Department is a matter for the bodies themselves. The information requested has been forwarded to them for direct reply to the Deputy.

Fallen Animal Collection Scheme

Ceisteanna (386)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

386. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on animal waste mileage limits (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38268/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department has not placed any mileage limits on the transport of offal from factories or on the transport of offal to rendering plants in Northern Ireland.

A mileage limit applies only to fallen animals over 48 months under the Fallen Animal TSE Subsidy Scheme. The Scheme ensures primarily that fallen bovine animals over 48 months, which must be BSE-tested in accordance with EU legislation, are disposed of in compliance with all animal and public health and environmental regulations.

Under the terms of the scheme, the distance of haulage of material from the intermediate plant (knackery) to rendering plant shall not exceed 125kms radius unless with the permission of the Department. The scheme also provides that, where there are not two or more rendering premises inside the 125kms radius from the intermediate plant, then delivery is permitted to either of the two nearest rendering premises as measured by road.

Safeguards are in place in the scheme rules to support competition. Under these arrangements, each animal collector may choose from at least two rendering companies for the disposal of over 48-month animals. The limit on distance for material only applies to fallen animals over 48-months and the Department does not subject fallen animals under 48-months or other non-scheme material to any distance limits. Animal collectors can deliver fallen animals under 48-months and non-scheme material to any of the rendering companies, including those in Northern Ireland.

Animal collectors can also deliver offal to any of the rendering companies, including those in Northern Ireland, without limit restrictions.

Brexit Supports

Ceisteanna (387)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

387. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the membership of a person (details supplied) in the hen harrier environmental scheme can be used as a qualifying criterion for the BEAM scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38271/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The object of the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) is to provide temporary exceptional adjustment aid to farmers in the beef sector in Ireland subject to the conditions set out in EU Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1132. BEAM is funded by a combination of EU aid and Exchequer support, provided in light of the difficult circumstances that Irish beef farmers have been facing as a result of market volatility and uncertainty.

Under the scheme, aid will be paid on adult cattle slaughtered between September 24, 2018, and May 12, 2019, at a rate of €100 per animal subject to a maximum of 100 finished animals per herd. Aid will also be paid on suckler cows that calved in 2018, at a rate of €40 per animal subject to a maximum of 40 sucklers per herd.

In order to be eligible for payment applicants needed to be a participant in one of the following schemes;

- Organic Farm Scheme (OFS)

- Green Low Carbon Agri-Environmental Scheme (GLAS)

- Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP)

- Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP)

or

- Be a participant or agree to join the Bord Bia – Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS)

The Hen Harrier Programme is not among the qualifying schemes as it cannot be directly linked to livestock production.

Applications for BEAM were accepted from the 19th August until the 20th September. As the closing date would have passed when this question is scheduled for reply, staff from my Department contacted the person named prior to the closing date to clarify their eligibility under the scheme and answer any queries they had.

Aquaculture Licence Appeals

Ceisteanna (388)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

388. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding fishermen in County Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38276/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department considers all applications for aquaculture licences in accordance with the provisions of the 1997 Fisheries (Amendment) Act, the 1933 Foreshore Act and applicable national and EU legislation. The licensing process involves consultation with a wide range of scientific and technical advisers as well as various Statutory Consultees. The legislation also provides for a period of public consultation.

Ministerial decisions have been made in respect of a number of Aquaculture licence applications for Wexford Harbour.

Appeals against Ministerial decisions in respect of Aquaculture Licence applications are considered by the Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board (ALAB) which is an independent body established by Statute for that purpose. Full details of the appeals process can be obtained at: http://www.alab.ie/appealsprocess/.

As the appeals against these decisions may currently be submitted to ALAB and in view of the independent status of ALAB, it would not be appropriate to comment further on the matter at this stage.

Brexit Preparations

Ceisteanna (389)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

389. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the progress made on increasing lairage capacity at Cherbourg to cope with the volume of dairy calves in spring 2020; if the agreed extension of two hours as per points 1.3, 1.4 and 1.7(b) of the regulations governing the port of destination and its vicinity will be used to speed up the provision of extra lairage capacity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38278/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My officials are in on-going communication with Irish exporters with regard to the need for co-operative management between each other to ensure that the lairage capacity at Cherbourg is optimised. I would urge the live export sector to consider developing an additional lairage in Cherbourg or engaging with the owners of existing facilities to explore the potential for additional capacity. This has proved possible – as evidenced by the French authorities approving an increase of the holding capacity of the Qualivia lairage in Cherbourg earlier this year. My Department worked closely with the French authorities in this matter. The move provided for additional daily capacity for 400 animals, providing increased capacity of some 1,200 animals per week

In my meetings with live exporters, I have suggested that a representative group be set up to represent their interests with a view to enhancing coordination in relation to the live export trade and I welcome the establishment of the new Exporters’ body. I am committed to formal engagement with exporters and I have arranged for a meeting with the new body later this week to discuss and review existing export procedures, including lairage facilities in Cherbourg.

In relation to the two hour extension outlined in Council Regulation No 1/2005, this provision is provided solely for the welfare and interests of the animals involved. The EU Commission have provided explicit guidelines in relation to this provision insofar as the granting of such an extension is dependent of the proximity to the place of destination.

TAMS Applications

Ceisteanna (390)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

390. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of an application by a person (details supplied) under the TAMS scheme; and the reason a previous application failed. [38301/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

TAMS II is a demand-led scheme and, as provided for in the Terms and Conditions of the scheme, it has been necessary to roll over some applications for consideration in to the next tranche. This is due to the high level of applications received in the most recent tranches. All eligible applications are subject to the ranking and selection process on the basis of the specific marking criteria that apply under each measure. Details of these marks are available on the Department's website.

The person named submitted an application on 5 April 2019 under the Young Farmers Capital Investment Scheme under which the ranking and selection cut off mark for tranche 13 was 46.42. The applicant scored 33.2. The application therefore automatically rolled over into Tranche 14.

The ranking and selection cut off mark for the Dairy Equipment Scheme in tranche 14 was 45.10. The applicant's marks were also below the cut off mark for Tranche 14. A letter issued to the person named informing them of the position on 12 September 2019. The application will be further considered under tranche 15. The applicant also has the right to withdraw this application and submit a revised version for consideration if they so wish.

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme Payments

Ceisteanna (391)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

391. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason for the delay in ANC payments; when payments will issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38344/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

There is no delay in making ANC payments.

In accordance with changes to EU Regulations which came into effect in 2019, payments under the ANC scheme will now be delivered in two instalments, with 85% advance payments issuing initially and a 15% balancing payment issuing from early December.

Payments under the 2019 Scheme commenced on schedule last week. To date, payments of over €169 million have issued to some 79,000 farmers. Some 2,000 additional farmers received payment in the first tranche of payments in 2019 when compared to 2018.

Additional weekly payment runs are in place to ensure additional cases that become clear for payment receive their payment as soon as possible.

Climate Change Adaptation Plans

Ceisteanna (392)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

392. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has been provided calculations by Teagasc of the potential amount of land that is not under grass that might be available for conversion to tillage or agroforestry without the loss of soil carbon; the basis for claims by Teagasc scientists that conversion from grassland, beef and dairy to tillage crops would result in net increases of greenhouse gas emissions on a life cycle basis; and his views on the recommendation by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action for diversification measures to ensure that Ireland can become more food secure by growing more tillage crops. [38349/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I refer to my previous reply to the Deputy (PQ ref. 37602­­/19) regarding the potential amount of land that is not under grass that might be available for conversion to tillage or agroforestry without the loss of soil carbon.

It is important to note that from a policy perspective, conversion of permanent grassland into tillage land is restricted to a maximum of 5% under current CAP regulations.

Furthermore, I am aware that ploughing permanent pasture for tillage results in a loss of soil carbon which somewhat offsets the benefits of reductions in the short-lived greenhouse gas methane (CH4). Our understanding of this trade-off is still evolving. Nevertheless, there is a need to address emissions of GHG from ruminant livestock farming systems. Teagasc has published a suite of GHG mitigation measures for Irish agriculture that can assist in achieving this objective, without the negative impacts of converting grassland to tillage.

Currently, Teagasc is exploring the capacity to increase GHG mitigation via enhancing soil sequestration. This research is supported by DAFM, EPA, EU and international bodies and is being conducted in conjunction with Irish and European Universities/research performing organization.

(See Table 1 below for further details)

Project Title

Funder

Institutes

Value(€ millions)

Period

Evaluating land-use and land management impacts on soil organic carbon in Irish agricultural systems (Agri SOC)

DAFM RSF fund

Teagasc, TCD, UL

0.6

2018-2022

Agricultural greenhouse gas research initiative Ireland (Agri I-I)

DAFMRSF fund

Teagasc, TCD, UCD, AFBI, UL

2012-2018

Full inversion tillage to accelerate soil C sequestration (Burying Carbon)

NZ MPI GPLER fund

Teagasc, Plant & Food Research NZ, TCD

0.04

2017-2020

Land management, assessment, research, knowledge base (Land Mark)

EU Horizon 2020

22 including Teagasc from 17 countries

5.3

2015-2019 (on-going)

Demonstration actions to mitigate carbon footprint of beef production in Ireland, France, Italy and Spain (LIFE BEEF CARBON)

EU LIFE

Teagasc, Bord Bia, Institut D’Elevage, CREA, ASPROVAC,

5.5

2016-2020 (On-going)

Soil quality assessment and research (SQUARE)

DAFM RSF fund

Teagasc, UL, UCD, Sligo IT

1.0

2013-2018

I am committed to promoting diversification of activity at farm level, in line with the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action report and in the wider rural economy to restructure agriculture to more sustainable land uses that will yield secure family farm income in the longer term.

Agriculture and land-use can positively contribute to the transition to a low carbon economy and society and can and will play its part.

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme Payments

Ceisteanna (393)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

393. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when an ANC payment will issue to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38396/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The person named applied for the 2019 Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme (ANC) on 29 April 2019.

An 85% advance payment has issued to the nominated bank account of the person named. In line with changes to EU Regulations, the 2019 ANC payments will issue in two instalments, with the 15% balancing payment due to issue in December.

Live Exports

Ceisteanna (394)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

394. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on an issue in relation to the exportation of live cattle to Libya (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38440/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Live exports are a critical part of Ireland’s livestock industry. They play a significant role in stimulating price competition and providing an alternative market outlet for farmers. The Department facilitates this trade, recognising its critical importance to the agri-sector, while ensuring that live animal exports meet the highest welfare standards. In 2018, the combined total value of live animal exports to the Irish economy was €161 million (€110 million for cattle; €49 million for pigs; €2 million for sheep), according to Bord Bia.

My Department implements a stringent system of controls on the welfare of animals being exported, in particular through a comprehensive legislative framework relating to the transport of animals by sea (The Carriage of Livestock by Sea Regulations 2016 (S.I. 356 of 2016). Only ships approved by my Department can load cattle for export from Ireland. Cattle being exported are monitored during the prescribed isolation period by Department Veterinary Inspectors and, in some cases, by Official Veterinarians from the importing countries. This is in addition to work carried out by Private Veterinary Practitioners who carry out the testing required prior to export to enable certification. Animals are inspected and certified by Official Veterinarians from the Department with regard to their health status and fitness for travel. Due regard is taken to weather conditions in respect of long distance transport

Ireland continues to work closely with other EU Member State and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) with a view to improving animal welfare practices worldwide. In this regard, Ireland has reaffirmed its on-going commitment to animal welfare through additional OIE multi-annual financial assistance (€75,000 per annum over the period 2017-20) to support its activities to enhance animal welfare worldwide.

Brexit Supports

Ceisteanna (395)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

395. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding an application by a person (details supplied). [38742/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The object of the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) is to provide temporary exceptional adjustment aid to farmers in the beef sector in Ireland subject to the conditions set out in EU Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1132. BEAM is funded by a combination of EU aid and Exchequer support, provided in light of the difficult circumstances that Irish beef farmers have been facing as a result of market volatility and uncertainty.

Under the scheme, aid will be paid on adult cattle slaughtered between September 24, 2018, and May 12, 2019, at a rate of €100 per animal subject to a maximum of 100 finished animals per herd. Aid will also be paid on suckler cows that calved in 2018, at a rate of €40 per animal subject to a maximum of 40 sucklers per herd.

In order to be eligible for payment, applicants needed to be a participant in one of the following schemes;

- Organic Farm Scheme (OFS)

- Green Low Carbon Agri-Environmental Scheme (GLAS)

- Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP)

- Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP)

or

- Be a participant or agree to join the Bord Bia – Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS)

An application under BEAM has been received from the person named. They had animals slaughtered in the reference period and they have indicated they are existing participants in Bord Bia's SBLAS. Their application is currently being processed where these eligibility criteria will be verified. Payments under BEAM are schedule to commence in the final quarter of 2019.

GLAS Appeals

Ceisteanna (396)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

396. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of a GLAS appeal application by a person (details supplied). [38754/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The person named was rejected from the GLAS scheme following the findings of an on farm inspection and requested a review of that decision.

The case is currently under review, as part of the internal appeals process.

The applicant will be informed of the outcome, in writing, once the review has been completed.

Fisheries Offences

Ceisteanna (397)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Ceist:

397. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans for introducing a penalty points system for fishing infringements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38830/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

As the Deputy is aware, the 2009 EU Fisheries Control Regulation 1224//2009 and EU Commission Implementing Regulation 404/2011 introduced points systems for serious infringements of the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy committed by the licence holder of a fishing vessel and also separately, the master. These are intended to complement sanctions and promote compliance and were required to be in place on 1st of January 2012.

I signed into force the European Union (Common Fisheries Policy) (Point System) Regulations 2018, S.I. No. 89 of 2018 on March 20th 2018 which fully met the requirement of the relevant EU regulation insofar as the licence holders were concerned. However, the S.I. was annulled by Dail Eireann on 29 May 2018. Given this annulment of the Statutory Instrument that I am satisfied fully met the EU rules, I met Oireachtas representatives during July 2019 to discuss a way forward. Having regard to these discussions, I am at present considering, with my legal advisors, the next steps.

In relation to the masters point’s draft heads have been prepared and sent to the Attorney General for advice. This draft Bill has been listed for inclusion on the Governments Autumn 2019 Legislative Programme.

I can assure the Deputy that I am fully committed to delivering on Ireland's legal obligations in this regard at the earliest possible date.

Beef Industry

Ceisteanna (398)

Brian Stanley

Ceist:

398. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the estimated cost of establishing a national beef market index database. [38885/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

As part of the Irish Beef Sector Agreement of 15th September, Bord Bia agreed to develop a beef market price index model based on three components - cattle price index, beef market price index (retail and wholesale) and an offal price indicator.

Work on the development of this index is underway and will be conducted within Bord Bia's existing budget.

Electric Vehicle Grants

Ceisteanna (399, 426)

David Cullinane

Ceist:

399. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the estimated full-year cost of increasing the grant for each category of electric vehicle by €1,000, €1,500 and €2,000 assuming an increase in uptake of vehicles. [38672/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

426. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the estimated cost of increasing the grant for each category of electric vehicle by €1,000, €1,500 and €2,000. [38635/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 399 and 426 together.

The electric vehicle purchase grant, introduced in April 2011, provides grant aid of up to €5,000 towards the purchase of a new battery electric vehicle or new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. From the introduction of the scheme to the end of August 2019, grant support has been provided for the purchase of a total of over 8,000 new vehicles to the value of €37 million. To date this year, over €15 million has been provided to support the purchase of 3,422 new electric vehicles. My Department estimates that the number of new electric vehicles which will receive support this year under the EV purchase will be circa 4,500 to 5,000.

The electric vehicle purchase grant is demand led and it is therefore difficult to predict exactly how many vehicles will be purchased in future years. However, the trend over the last number of years shows increasing numbers of new electric vehicles purchased year on year.

Based on supporting 9,000 electric vehicles next year through the purchase grant in 2020, the table below shows the increased cost if the amount paid were increased by €1,000, €1,500 and €2,000.

Extra Grant Amount

Extra Cost

€1,000

€9m

€1,500

€13.5m

€2,000

€18m