Dáil Éireann - Volume 548 - 14 February, 2002
Written Answers. - Milk Quota.
Mr. Rabbitte Mr. Rabbitte
34. Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the terms of the milk quota schemes for restructuring and temporary leasing for the 2002-2003 quota year; the terms of the flexi-milk scheme for the current quota year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4948/02]
Mr. Walsh Mr. Walsh
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): Under the terms of the restructuring scheme I have decided to set a maximum price for the 2002-03 scheme at €0.31 per litre – £1.11p per gallon. I intend to continue this downward trend in the future. I have also decided to improve the priority access of younger farmers from 20% to 25% of the pool and will continue to make provision for those producers who were unable to renew existing land or quota leases. The general priority categories will be the same as last year i.e. category I – less than 180,000 litres, category II – 180,000 to 275,000 litres and category III – over 275,000 litres, and allocations would be made to these categories on the basis of a 3:2:1 ratio. The scheme will therefore continue to be weighted in favour of small and medium scale producers.
The restructuring scheme has been very successful in the two years since the introduction of the new regime. About 80 million gallons of quota has been reallocated, most of it to small and medium category producers. The gradual reduction in price along with the very favourable taxation treatment for quota purchase has made this possible. The level of quota reallocation is already bringing about an improvement in the structure of the sector at production level, something that is vital to meet future competitive challenges.
The temporary leasing scheme will operate in two phases, the first closing on 31 May 2002 and  the second on 31 January 2003. In line with previous indications and with the objective of reducing production costs, the price will be reduced to €0.04 per litre or 14p per gallon. Again, the scheme will be operated so as to favour small and medium size producers with the allocation among the three categories operating on a similar basis to the restructuring scheme. Specific provision would be made for entitlements which had not been satisfied in the 2002 restructuring scheme.
Finally, in relation to the reallocation of unused quota at the end of the current year – flexi-milk. This will be allocated among the three priority categories with 70% going to category I – under 180,000 litres, 20% to category II – 180,000 to 275,000 litres and 10% to category III – over 275,000 litres.
Dáil Éireann 548 Written Answers. Milk Quota.