Dáil Éireann - Volume 599 - 23 March, 2005

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

  218. Mr. N. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the position regarding an application submitted under the single payments entitlement scheme. [9604/05]

  Mary Coughlan:The person named submitted an application on 29 October 2004 for consideration of his circumstances under the second tranche of the force majeure-exceptional circumstances measure of the single payment scheme. He was notified on 21 March 2005 that the circumstances outlined by him do not satisfy the criteria for force majeure-exceptional circumstances under Article 40 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1782/2003. He was advised to submit an application under the national reserve measure of the single payment scheme, as he had purchased land. The person named has been advised that he can appeal the decision to the independent single payment appeals committee which will carry out a full review of the circumstances outlined.

Following the decision on the application submitted by the person named under force majeure-exceptional circumstances, arrangements are being made to have a provisional entitlement statement issued.

  219. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food her plans to eliminate inequities in the forestry grant system such as the discrepancy in the rate of premium and the fact that forestry organisations are not interested in holdings under three hectares; her views on whether more smallholders would opt to plant trees if these [1884] inequities were eliminated; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9638/05]

  Mary Coughlan:There are two basic rates of forestry premium, one for farmers and another for non-farmers. Both are laid down by EU regulation. The higher farmer rate is designed to cover loss of agricultural income from the land being planted.

On the general question of planting small areas of land, I am aware that the planting of larger areas offers greater economies of scale. However, the grant system, which my Department operates, seeks to ensure that no matter what size of plantation is envisaged, the costs of planting are fully covered.

  220. Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when notification will be sent to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry regarding their single payment entitlement; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9639/05]

  Mary Coughlan:A certificate of provisional entitlements under the single payment scheme issued to the person named on 1 October 2004. The statement included a detailed breakdown of how the provisional entitlements were calculated.

Farmers who are not satisfied with their provisional entitlement statement may seek a review on a form which is available from all local offices of my Department and from my Department’s website. To date, a review form has not been received from the person named. If the person named did not receive the statement, a copy can be provided. Officials of my Department will contact the person named in this regard.

  221. Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the position regarding the single payment entitlements for a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9641/05]

  Mary Coughlan:A certificate of provisional entitlements under the single payment scheme issued to the person named on 1 February 2005. The statement included a detailed breakdown of how the provisional entitlements were calculated. However, having arranged for an official of my Department to contact the person named directly, it is understood that the statement was not received. A duplicate is being issued immediately.

Farmers who are not satisfied with their provisional entitlement statement may seek a review on a form which is available from all local offices of my Department and from my Department’s website.

  222. Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when the 2003 extens[1885] ification grant will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9642/05]

  Mary Coughlan:A payable order for €3,760 issued to the person named on 21 March 2005 representing his full entitlement to 2003 extensification premium on a total of 47 animals that had already qualified for payment of 2003 special beef premium on his holding.

  223. Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the single payment entitlements available to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; if her attention has been drawn to circumstances regarding the farm of this person; if it is possible for this person’s son to receive entitlements under the national reserve; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9643/05]

  Mary Coughlan:The person named has 34.06 entitlements at a total net value of €3,559.27 established for her based on the number of her animals which qualified for premia payments in 2000 and the number of hectares she declared in the same year all of which are averaged over three years in accordance with the EU rules governing the single payment scheme. The suckler cow quota of 30 premium rights, which she held, was leased out in 2001, 2002 and 2003 and the quota was sold in 2004.

The son of the person named has not to date submitted an application form for consideration of his circumstances in respect of the new entrant-inheritance measure of the single payment scheme. My Department has been in contact with him and advised him to complete the necessary forms which have issued to him. On receipt of the completed application form the matter will receive immediate attention.

There is no record in my Department of an application form under the 2005 single payment national reserve having been received from the son of the person named.

  224. Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the position regarding an application under the national reserve in the name of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9644/05]

  Mary Coughlan:The person named submitted an application to the 2005 single payment national reserve under categories A and B. Category A caters for farmers who received a holding free of charge or for a nominal amount from a farmer who has retired or died before 16 May 2005 and whose holding was leased out to a third party during the reference period 2000 to 2002. Category B caters for farmers who made an investment in [1886] production capacity which in his case was the leasing in of land.

During the course of processing his application, it was discovered that he did not submit sufficient documentation to support his claim under either category. In this regard, my Department has written to him asking him to submit the relevant documentation. As soon as this documentation is received his application will be considered further.

If the person named commenced farming during 2002 and received direct payment during that year he may apply to be treated as a new entrant during the reference period and I have arranged for an application form to be sent to him for completion. If successful, his entitlements would be based on one year only rather than being averaged over three years, which is the case at present.

  225. Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the position regarding an application under the national reserve by a person (details supplied) in Count Galway; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9645/05]

  Mary Coughlan:There is no record in the Department of Agriculture and Food of an application form under the 2005 single payment national reserve having been received from the person in question.

  226. Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the position regarding an application under the national reserve by a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9646/05]

  Mary Coughlan:The person named submitted an application to the 2005 single payment national reserve but the circumstances cited by him do not apply to any category under the reserve. Therefore, he is ineligible for an allocation of entitlements from the reserve. The person in question may be eligible to apply under the force majeure measures of the single payment scheme. I have arranged for an application form to be sent to him for completion. He should return the completed form with full medical evidence to support his claim to: The Single Payment —force majeure- Section, Department of Agriculture and Food, Old Abbeyleix Road, Portlaoise. The application will receive immediate attention as soon as it has been received.

  227. Mr. Neville asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if a decision with regard to the payment of a beef premium to a person (details supplied) in County Limerick will be reviewed. [9647/05]

[1887]   Mary Coughlan:The person in question lodged three applications under the 2004 EU special beef scheme; on 27 January 2004 in respect of two animals, on 2 November 2004 in respect of 38 animals and on 2 December 2004 in respect of three animals. Under the scheme’s terms and conditions, all animals are required to be CMMS compliant on the date of application. Following computer validation, however, 34 of the animals included in the application of 2 November 2004 and two of the animals included on the application of 2 December 2004 were identified as non-CMMS compliant on the date of application — they were not recorded as being in the herd of the person named on the date of application.

In a letter of 29 November 2004, the person was advised that 34 of the animals listed on the application of 2 November 2004 were non-compliant with CMMS, while in a letter of 24 January 2005, the person was advised that two of the animals listed on the application of 2 December 2004 were non-compliant with CMMS. The movements of all 36 animals into the herd of the person named were recorded on the CMMS database on 15 February 2005.

The processing of 2004 special beef premium applications is ongoing. Decisions on the eligibility of animals for the payment of premium, where errors have been highlighted following computer validation, have yet to be made in many cases. If it is considered that payment is not justified, applicants are advised of their right of appeal, initially to a higher officer in the Department. If that appeal is not upheld, they can appeal to the agriculture appeals office thereafter. The person named is being contacted directly about the animals in question.