Dáil Éireann - Volume 486 - 04 February, 1998

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

83. Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when his Department will pay the appropriate premium to a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath; the reason for the delay in processing these payments; if the delay is related to digitisation of the area aid maps; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2795/98]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): The person named has been paid £162.30 in respect of her 1997 special beef premium application and £336.55 in respect of her 1997 suckler cow premium application.

As the person named was a new applicant for disadvantaged areas grants in 1997 and as the maps submitted had to be digitised to see whether those lands were split between less severely and more severely handicapped areas, payment of cattle headage has not yet been made. The case is now being digitised, however, and payment should be made within ten days.

85. Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when beef, cow and suckler cow grants will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath; the reason he has not been [1252] paid to date in 1998; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2797/98]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): The person named has paid £2,440 in respect of his 1997 suckler cow premium application.

Because the person named has lands in both less severely and more severely handicapped areas and because the digitising of the maps covering those lands has not been completed, 1997 headage grants have not yet been paid. As soon as the digitising is completed and the apportionment of his lands between the two types of areas mentioned is known, payment of these outstanding grants will be made.

86. Mr. Finucane asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when a slaughter premium grant for 16 animals will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Limerick in view of the fact that the applicant has written some time ago to the manager of the Portlaoise office clarifying that, owing to illness in December 1996, he was unable to send the documentation until January 1997. [2801/98]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): As a response to the BSE crisis, Council Regulation (EC) No. 1357/96 provided for payment of a supplement to each 1996 special beef premium received by a producer. Payments were based on the number of animals paid 1995 special beef premium with provision for a subsequent adjustment, if necessary, to take account of the actual number of animals qualifying under the 1996 special beef premium scheme.

The person named received a BSE compensation payment of £1,049.40 (i.e. 55 × £19.08) based on the number of animals paid 1995 special beef premium. However, he did not apply for such premium in 1996 and this entire £1,049.40 had to be designated an overpayment as a result. A total of £721.08 of it was recovered by offset against his 1996 slaughter premium application (12 animals × £60.09) and the remainder by offset against other payments being made to him. This explains why he received no 1996 slaugher premium payment.

This position was explained fully to a professional adviser of the person named who contacted the special beef premium unit.

87. Mr. Creed asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when a person (details supplied) in County Cork will be paid an installation aid grant. [2823/98]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): The application which was received in the Department after the scheme was suspended is the subject of ongoing discussions between my Department and Teagasc.

88. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when a person (details supplied) in [1253] County Mayo will be paid his 1997 cattle and sheep headage grants. [2825/98]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): The person named will be paid his entitlements under the 1997 cattle headage scheme and the 1997 sheep headage scheme within the next two weeks.