Dáil Éireann - Volume 623 - 06 July, 2006
Written Answers. - Grant Payments.
Mr. Lowry Mr. Lowry
Mr. Lowry asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food her views on the number of farmers awaiting payment under the 2005 single farm payment scheme in each county; the most common reason for delay in making payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27898/06]
Mary Coughlan Mary Coughlan
Mary Coughlan: The following table sets out the number of farmers in each county whose payments under the 2005 Single Payment Scheme had issued by 5 July 2006. The number of applications with outstanding problems, which must be solved prior to payment, is also set out. Payments are continuing to issue to farmers as their applications are processed to completion, in accordance with the EU legislation governing the Single Payment Scheme. Under this legislation, Member States may commence payment under the Single Payment Scheme on 1 December of the year of application, with payments being fully processed by the following 30 June. My priority in 2005, the first year of this new Scheme, was to maximize the number of payments to eligible applicants by the earliest date possible of 1 December and I am satisfied that this was achieved. Since then, it has been my absolute priority to ensure that the issues that are holding up the remaining cases are resolved with the applicants concerned and that payments are made without undue delay. To this end, I have arranged that payments issue on a very regular basis, as soon as the problems with the outstanding cases are resolved.
In common with the coupled schemes, which the Single Payment Scheme replaced, delays in processing can be caused by many factors, including incomplete application forms, errors on applications and discrepancies highlighted following computer validation, which must be resolved via correspondence with the applicant. In many cases, payment could not be made because applicants did not submit an application to transfer the Single Payment entitlements, with lands, by way of inheritance, gift, lease or purchase. Many of these applications were only received after my Department made direct contact with the farmers in question, during recent weeks, and some have yet to be submitted. In other cases, over-claims on commonage lands need to be resolved before any of the claimants concerned can be paid. Similarly, cases where given parcels are subject to dual-claims must also be resolved, before any of the parties concerned can be paid.
 It will be noted that the sum of the cases paid and those awaiting payment differs from the figures supplied in the reply to previous questions. As explained, these differences are accounted for by cases, which previously had no entitlements, being awarded entitlements following the processing of applications under the Inheritance, Force Majeure etc measures of the Single Payment Scheme, which were recently submitted to my Department.
Dáil Éireann 623 Written Answers. Grant Payments.