Dáil Éireann - Volume 524 - 25 October, 2000
Written Answers. - Grant Payments.
Mr. Durkan Mr. Durkan
200. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development his views on whether the proposed changes in headage payments or other payments are likely to impact in a negative way on the agriculture sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23667/00]
Mr. Walsh Mr. Walsh
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): Under Agenda 2000 headage payments are moving from a payment per animal basis to a system of payments based on area. At present some £120 million is spent annually on headage whereas under the new area based scheme annual expenditure is expected to be closer to £180 million. Of the 109,000 farmers who are expected to participate in the scheme, 81,000 will gain substantially to the tune of £812 each on average. While it is accepted that there will be approximately 28,000 losers, I have arranged with the EU Commission that losses in 2001 will be compensated for the extent of 90% in 2001, 80% in 2002 and 50% in 2003. This compensation package will have the result of reducing losses to £32 on average in 2001 and to £64 in 2002. I have also asked my officials to review the scheme with a view to dealing in the longer term with the problem of reduced payments. Under all other areas under Agenda 2000 substantial additional funding is being put in place with the consequent prospect that the schemes involved will impact only in a positive way over the duration of the agreement from 2000 to 2006.
Dáil Éireann 524 Written Answers. Grant Payments.