Dáil Éireann - Volume 480 - 30 September, 1997

Written Answers - Installation Aid Scheme.

182. Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will review the suspension of the installation aid scheme to allow applications; and if he will give consideration to the implementation of the suspension decision to apply to land transfers in view of the fact that people have to be a year in farming after the land transfer before they can apply for the installation aid and many people who reasonably expected to be participants in the scheme have now been excluded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14393/97]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): The scheme of installation aid is one of the sub-measures operated under the operational programme for agriculture, rural development and forestry. Under the programme an indicative allocation of £17 million was committed to the installation aid scheme.

As part of the mid-term review of the operational programme additional funds were sought to enable further applications under the scheme. When decisions were taken in regard to the distribution of the limited funds which became available priority was given, in line with the recommendations in the mid-term review of the operational programme, to the scheme for the [1068] control of farm pollution and the dairy hygiene scheme.

The suspension of the installation aid scheme had been flagged in the farming media as far back as September of 1996 and while I have sympathy for those who were caught by the closure date it is not possible to accept any additional applications at this stage.