Dáil Éireann - Volume 538 - 14 June, 2001

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

66. Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development when the first instalment of the 2001 ewe premium scheme will be paid; and if his attention has been drawn to the financial hardship that will be suffered if it is not paid immediately. [17491/01]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): In the light of the situation which emerged from the cull of animals linked to the foot and mouth crisis, additional checks and controls of applications under the 2001 ewe premium scheme are currently under way. I have asked my officials to give priority to completing this exercise to enable ewe premium payments to commence as soon as possible.

67. Mr. Aylward asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the reason subsidies for a period 1998 to date have not been paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; if he is satisfied the decision of his Department to refuse outstanding payments is lawful; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17512/01]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): The person named was paid £937.76 in respect of his special beef premium applications in 1998. A further amount of £2,071.82 in respect of 1998 special beef premium [426] was offset against an overpayment arising in relation to the rural environment protection scheme, REPS. Extensification premium amounting to £996.65 due on 1998 special beef animals was offset against the REPS overpayment also. No application was received from the person named in 1998 under the suckler cow scheme.

Ownership of the herdnumber quoted was transferred from the person named on 18 November 1998 and accordingly no applications under any of the livestock schemes could have been made by him since then.

I have asked my officials to examine the situation regarding livestock scheme applications made under the herdnumber quoted since its transfer and I will write to the Deputy on the matter when the examination has been completed.

68. Mr. G. Reynolds asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the reason a person (details supplied) in County Leitrim has not received a suckler cow premium for 2000. [17531/01]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): Under EU regulations, a herdowner must hold a suckler cow quota, either owned or leased in, to qualify for payment of the suckler cow premium.

The person named applied for premium under the suckler cow premium scheme in 2000 but he could not be paid as did not hold a quota.

The quota available nationally is finite and the amount available for transfer or lease between farmers depends entirely on supply and demand.

If the person named wishes to acquire quota for 2001, he should do so before applying for the premium and in any event not later than 29 June 2001.

69. Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the progress made on the appeal by a person (details supplied); when a decision will be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17532/01]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): The herdowner lodged an appeal on 2 April 2001 concerning his 2000 suckler cow premium and cattle headage application.

Appeals require individual examination and are dealt with in the order in which they are received. This appeal will be examined as soon as possible and the herdowner will be notified of the outcome.