Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Agriculture Scheme Appeals
837. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a review lodged by a person (details supplied) in County Galway in respect of an overclaim assessed against them is under consideration; if so, when a decision will be made on this review in view of the serious effect Covid-19 is having on the person's income and the importance of farm payments being issued to farmers in a timely manner as a result of the impact Covid-19 is having on livestock prices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5569/20]
My Department reviews all agricultural land parcels in the country on a rolling basis with the whole country being reviewed every three years. All the latest available imagery is reviewed and any ineligible features identified within a land parcel are removed. The area of the parcel is adjusted where necessary and, if appropriate, any overpayment is addressed. Scheme applicants are notified accordingly, and they are given the option, should they wish, to seek a review of any overclaims arising from this process.
In this regard, land parcels submitted under the 2018 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) by the person named were subject to an imagery review. Following the imagery review, the Maximum Eligible Area (MEA) of 14 land parcels were reduced and this led to overclaims on the parcels.
A letter issued to the person named on 30 May 2019 outlining the position and the options available to him. These overclaims resulted in a reduction of his 2018 BPS payment and an overpayment was applied. An agricultural advisor submitted a response on behalf of the person named. The advisor stated that they did not agree to the reduced MEA on 12 out of the 14 parcels and requested a further review.
This review was carried out, which took into account the particular landscape of the area and is now completed. This review has made adjustments to the MEAs which has meant that the person named no longer has over claims on his 2018 BPS. The person named also received a balancing payment to his 2018 BPS on 30 March 2020 which has negated the original deduction. Thus, the BPS 2018 payments for the person named are up to date.