Dáil Éireann - Volume 665 - 30 October, 2008
Written Answers. - Flood Relief.
Deputy Seán Sherlock Deputy Seán Sherlock
Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the steps he has taken to assist farmers, particularly tillage farmers, who were affected by the recent flooding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37468/08]
Deputy Brendan Smith Deputy Brendan Smith
Deputy Brendan Smith: I am keenly aware of the problems being encountered by farmers as a consequence of the bad weather, particularly the harvesting of this year’s cereal crops. In recognition of these problems, I wrote to the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Ms Fischer Boel, seeking approval for the early payment of the 2008 Single Payment. My request was for advance payment at a rate of 50%, payable from 16 October 2007.
The reason for my request was based on the very adverse weather conditions being experienced in Ireland. These weather conditions are causing significant hardship to farmers. Many arable farmers, in particular, are in danger of suffering severe losses while the conditions have also negatively impacted on beef and dairy farmers with instances of animals having to be housed. I am pleased to say that the European Commission has responded favourably and on 24 September approved the advance payment of 50% of the Single Payment effective from 16 October. I believe that these advance payments will go some way in alleviating the difficulties faced by farmers due to the exceptional weather conditions this summer and early autumn.
Dáil Éireann 665 Written Answers. Flood Relief.