Dáil Éireann - Volume 532 - 20 March, 2001

Written Answers. - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

213. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development if he will intervene with Teagasc to ensure that REP scheme farmers do not have to pay increased REP scheme planner costs to Teagasc as a result of the incorporation of the framework documents in their plans; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7422/01]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): Participants in the rural environmental protection scheme are required to amend their agri-environmental plans, where appropriate, when commonage framework plans become available. The question of cost, whether planners are employees of Teagasc or independent agricultural consultants, is a matter between each participant in the scheme and his or her planner. However, the fact that my [1131] Department has approved over a thousand REPS planners, operating through 280 planning agencies, contributes to competitiveness in the fees charged.