Dáil Éireann - Volume 602 - 11 May, 2005

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

  224. Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the way in which existing participants in the forestation grant scheme, who have already been receiving grants under the said scheme, will have their entitlements treated under the new single entitlement system, for the purpose of the 2005 single payment scheme and subsequently; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15591/05]

  Mary Coughlan: : Participants in the afforestation premium scheme must submit a single payment scheme application in 2005 and are obliged to declare all the land parcels in their holding — owned, rented and leased.

All land parcels in receipt of payment under the afforestation premium scheme must also be registered on this Department’s land parcel identification system with a unique identification number. Failure to register afforested parcels under this scheme on that system could affect future premium payments.

Participants in the afforestation premium scheme should shade the circle at 11 on the front of the single payment scheme application form and also enter their forestry contract number in the space provided on the front of the single pay[584] ment scheme application form and ensure that all land parcels, including the land parcels afforested in accordance with the afforestation premium scheme are detailed on the back of the form.

Farmers who afforested lands since 2000 and do not have sufficient lands to benefit from their full single payment can apply to consolidate their single payment entitlements on their declared lands in 2005. Such farmers should complete the consolidation application form and submit it with their single payment application form.

Farmers should consider carefully the consequences of consolidation if there is a possibility they might wish to avail of the early retirement scheme or might wish to retire from farming within the next five years. Consolidated entitlements are allocated from the national reserve and cannot be sold or leased for five years. These entitlements must also be claimed each year for five years, failing which the unclaimed entitlements will revert to the national reserve.

These farmers will continue to receive the afforestation aid on the planted lands and if successful in their application to consolidate their entitlements, will also benefit from their full single payment.

  225. Mr. N. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if notification of entitlement under the single payment scheme has issued to a person (details supplied) in County Cork since 1 March 2005. [15592/05]

  Mary Coughlan: Summary statements of provisional entitlements issued to all farmers during April 2005, including the person named. However, I have had arrangements made to have a further copy issued today to the person named.

  226. Mr. N. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if she will give consideration to a person (details supplied) in County Cork for approval under the national reserve-single payment scheme. [15593/05]

  Mary Coughlan: The person named submitted an application under the single payment scheme national reserve under category B which caters for farmers who, between 1 January 2000 and 19 October 2003, made an investment in production capacity in a farming sector for which a direct payment under livestock premia and — or arable aid schemes would have been payable during the reference period 2000-02.

My Department is processing in excess of 16,500 applications already received and the closing date for receipt of completed applications has been extended to 16 May 2005. In view of the number of applications received and the documentation submitted, it will be some time before a decision is reached on whether the person [585] named is entitled to an allocation from the reserve. The person named will be notified of the outcome as soon as all applications are processed.

  227. Mr. N. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason a person (details supplied) in County Cork has not yet received notification of her entitlements under the EU single payment scheme; and if her attention has been drawn to the fact that their application was approved under the category of force majeure. [15594/05]

  Mary Coughlan: The person named applied for consideration of force majeure— exceptional circumstances on 4 February 2004. Having fully examined the circumstances outlined by the person named, my Department is satisfied that force majeure circumstances should apply in this case.

The years 2001 and 2002 will be excluded and 2000 only will be used in the calculation of the provisional single payment entitlements. This decision was notified to the person named on 8 November 2004.

An application for consideration in respect of the inheritance measure of the single payment scheme was also submitted. Following an examination of this application the person named was notified that her application to transfer special condition entitlements was successful. A statement of provisional entitlements outlining the amended position has now issued to the person named.

  228. Mr. N. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the position regarding a single payment scheme application under force majeure for a person (details supplied) in County Cork. [15595/05]

  Mary Coughlan: The person named was originally notified that the circumstances outlined by him did not satisfy the criteria for force majeure— exceptional circumstances under Article 40 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1782/2003.

The person named then submitted an application for consideration in respect of the inheritance measure of the single payment scheme. Following processing of this application he was notified that his application was successful. The amended position reflecting the inheritance measure was included in the statement of provisional entitlements issued to him on 22 March 2005.

The person named subsequently submitted additional medical information and following a full examination of this additional information it has been decided that force majeure should be applied. Consequently, 1998 only will be used in the establishment of the single farm payment entitlement for the person named.

[586] The person named has been notified of this decision and an updated statement of provisional entitlements reflecting this position has now issued.

  229. Mr. N. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the position regarding an appeal in relation to the single payment scheme under the category of force majeure for a person (details supplied) in County Cork. [15596/05]

  Mary Coughlan: The person named has been notified that the circumstances outlined by him did not satisfy the criteria for force majeure— exceptional circumstances under Article 40 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1782/2003.

Following this decision the person named submitted an appeal to the independent single payment appeals committee. A full review of the circumstances of the case will be carried out by the independent single payment appeals committee and the person named will be notified shortly of the outcome.

The person named also submitted an application requesting consideration in respect of the inheritance measure of the single payment scheme. Following processing of his application I am pleased to advise that the person named has been notified that his application was successful and a statement of provisional entitlements outlining the amended position issued to him on 22 March 2005. The person named cannot be considered for the new entrant measure of the single payment scheme as he received no direct payments in the reference years 2000-02.