Dáil Éireann - Volume 608 - 25 October, 2005

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

  459. Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the single farm payment [963] available to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that the applicant purchased a farm in 2001; if her attention has further been drawn to the fact that it may be more advantageous to have the reference years 1997, 1998 and 1999 rather than 2000, 2001 and 2002; if the entitlements on the farm transferred with the farm at the point of sale; if the applicant is entitled to be considered for an allocation from the national reserve; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30736/05]

  Mary Coughlan:An application for consideration under the force majeure— exceptional circumstances measure of the single payment scheme, SPS, was submitted by the person named on 5 February 2004. The person named has been notified that the circumstances outlined by him do not satisfy the criteria for force majeure— exceptional circumstances under Article 40 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1782/2003.

The person named also submitted an application for consideration in respect of both the new entrant and inheritance measures of the SPS. Following processing of his applications, he was advised that he did not meet the criteria as a new entrant during the reference period as he did not receive any livestock premia payments during that period. His application for the transfer of entitlements on the grounds of inheritance was ineligible as he purchased the lands in question. A letter detailing the decisions in respect of these applications was issued to the person named on 20 December 2004 and he was advised that he could submit an application to have entitlements transferred to him by way of private contract clause. To date no such application has been submitted.

An official from my Department contacted the person named on 24 October 2005 and advised him to submit a private contract clause application immediately if he wished to proceed on this basis and if agreement had been reached with the vendor for the transfer of the entitlements. The person named submitted an application for an allocation of entitlements from the single payment national reserve under category D which caters for farmers who commenced farming after 31 December 2002 but who received no payments in respect of that scheme year. If it is the case that the person named purchased land in 2001, the application will now also be examined under category B (1) which caters for farmers who between the 1 January 2000 and the 19 October 2003 made an investment in production capacity in a farming sector for which a direct payment would have been payable during the reference period 2000 to 2002.

[964] Applications for an allocation of entitlements from the national reserve were received from more than 17,500 farmers. My Department will be in touch with the person named as soon as his application is fully processed.