Dáil Éireann - Volume 412 - 13 November, 1991

Written Answers. - Suckler Cow Premium.

21. Mr. E. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will outline his position in regard to the proposal to increase the suckler cow premium in 1991.

50. Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason applicants for the 1990 suckler cow scheme for small-scale milk producers have recently been told that payment of the premium in question is not scheduled to issue to eligible applicants until later on; and if, in the light of the financial distress of many such producers, he will arrange for immediate payment of not alone the 1990 premium but also the 1991 premium.

109. Mr. Finucane asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when the 1990-1991 suckler cow premium will be paid to farmers who have a quota of less than 12,800 gallons; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. O'Kennedy): I propose taking Questions Nos. 21, 50 and 109 together.

Payments under the 1990 suckler cow scheme for small scale milk producers will start before the end of the month [1378] while payment under the 1991 scheme will start in December 1991.

I would refer the Deputies to my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 242 of 16 October 1991 on the reasons for delay in making the 1990 scheme payments.

As for the proposal to increase the suckler cow premium grant for 1991, I am anxious to see it approved quickly by the EC so the increased rate can be applied to all payments made under the 1991 schemes for non-suppliers of milk and for small-scale milk producers when they commence next month. I am seeking approval, therefore, as a matter of urgency, as it will mean up to an extra £12 million to farmers in Ireland for 1991.