Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Department of Agriculture, Marine and Food
Question 571: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide the number of farmers in County Kildare who are still awaiting their 2011 single farm payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7950/12]
There are currently 23 herd owners in Kildare awaiting payments under the 2011 Single Payment Scheme. The timing of the Single Farm Payment is of critical importance to farmers, given that it represents in excess of €1.2 billion of the €1.7 billion that is paid out annually in direct aid. The SFP forms a significant part of the annual income of all farmers in Ireland, in many cases it is used to subsidise the running costs of the farming enterprise and is, therefore, greater than the net farm income in those cases. During 2011, mindful of the significance to the wider rural economy of the Single Payment, I successfully sought the approval of the Commissioner to have advance payments made on the earliest possible date. I am pleased to say that these payments commenced issuing on 17 October 2011, with payments continuing to be made, twice weekly, on an on-going basis. The vast majority of farmers had been paid by the end of December 2011.
The person named commenced REPS in July 2009 and received payments for the first two years of their contract.
REPS 4 is a measure under the current 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before any payments can issue in respect of 2011. These checks are currently being finalised out and I expect that year 3 payment will issue shortly.