Tuesday, 19 January 2016
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Single Payment Scheme Payments
211. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the non-payments under the single payment scheme and the areas of natural constraint scheme for 2015 and the part-payment for these in 2014 will be resolved for a person (details supplied) in County Cork based on a recent announcement which stated that no penalties would accrue to persons who were unjustly penalised for alleged ineligible lands. [1848/16]
In order to comply with EU requirements, the 2014 Single Farm Payment/Disadvantaged Area’s Scheme application of the person named initially selected for a Remote Sensing (Satellite inspection) eligibility inspection. This initial inspection identified discrepancies resulting in an over-declaration in area of between 3% and 20%. A subsequent field visit, to verify the position on the ground, identified further discrepancies between the area declared and the area determined resulting in an over-declaration in area of greater than 50%. The person named was notified of this decision by letter of 27 April 2015. Based on the terms and conditions of the 2014 Single Payment Scheme this resulted in no payment being due in respect of the scheme and the application of an administrative fine to be offset against any future EU payments. As payment had already issued based on the initial inspection, my Department was required to recoup the over-payment amounts from any future year’s payments due.
The person named requested a review of this decision the outcome of which was to up-hold the inspection findings with some minor area adjustments which did not impact on the payment position. The person named was notified of this on 30 June 2015. The person named has appealed this decision to the independent Agricultural Appeals Office and I understand that this matter is currently on-going, with an oral hearing scheduled for later this week. On completion of the appeals process the person named will be notified directly of the outcome.
The outcome of the appeal process will determine the eligible areas for both 2014 and 2015. My Department will immediately review the case of the person named for both years when the appeal process is completed and any payments due will be processed as soon as possible.