Dáil Éireann - Volume 458 - 16 November, 1995
Written Answers. - Headage Payments Report.
Mr. E. O'Keeffe Mr. E. O'Keeffe
32. Mr. E. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry the reason for his refusal to publish the report of Doctor Brendan Kearney on the maintenance of headage payments that was commissioned by his Department at a cost of £22,143; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16998/95]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
66. Mr. Cowen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry the recommendations of the Kearney Report regarding the future of headage payments. [17114/95]
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry (Mr. Yates) Ivan Yates
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry (Mr. Yates): I propose to take Questions Nos. 32 and 66 together.
The position as regards the evaluation carried out on the compensatory allowances scheme is that the consultant has addressed a number of areas where he recommends that changes should be made and he has highlighted a broad range of measures from which a selection will have to be made if the areas targeted by him are to be tackled. The areas the consultant was asked to examine are as follows: the balance between investment and income support measures under the Operational Programme for Agriculture, Rural Development and Forestry; the extent to which the scheme contributes towards its main objective of maintaining the population in disadvantaged rural areas; the question of better targeting the low income farmer; simplification of the scheme; the extent to which the scheme is contributing to the overgrazing problem in certain sensitive areas; the question of fundamentally improving the collection of data so that it can be more easily analysed and evaluated.
 As this evaluation was carried out as part of the Community Support Framework for Ireland, 1994-1999, any decisions on implementing the recommendations will be a matter for consideration by the monitoring committee for the Operational Programme for Agriculture, Rural Development and Forestry which meets twice yearly. In the interim, initial discussions are scheduled to take place with the European Commission in early December, followed by discussions with the farming bodies who are represented on the monitoring committee. The farming bodies are being supplied with copies of the report which will also be placed in the Dáil Library.
Dáil Éireann 458 Written Answers. Headage Payments Report.