Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
883. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the overclaim assessed against a farmer (details supplied) in County Galway; the penalty imposed by scheme and scheme years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6180/20]
My Department reviews all agricultural land parcels in the country on a rolling basis with the whole country reviewed over a three-year period. Imagery is reviewed and any ineligible features identified within a land parcel are removed. The area of the parcel is reduced and, if appropriate, any overpayment is addressed. Applicants are notified accordingly and are given the option 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 the process outlined above. Following the imagery review, the Maximum Eligible Area (MEA) of 19 land parcels were reduced which created overclaims on the parcels.
A letter issued to the person named on 9 July 2019 outlining the position and the options available to him. These overclaims resulted in a reduction of his 2018 BPS payment and an overpayment of €896.63 was applied. The person named replied on 20 December 2019 stating that he did not agree with the reduced MEA applied to all 19 parcels.
A review was carried out taking into account the particular landscape of the area and is now completed. The review made adjustments to the MEAs of the parcels but overclaims still exist for him under his 2018 BPS. However, the adjustments made to the MEAs reduced the overall level of overclaim applied to his case and a refund of €415.57 issued to the person named on 13 March 2020.
The 2019 Basic Payment Scheme/Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme application of the person named was selected for a Ground Eligibility inspection. This inspection identified an over-declaration in area amounting to 0.48ha. The person named was notified of the outcome of the original inspection on 28thNovember 2019 and chose not to submit any comments on the inspection findings. The inspection was finalised and a Final Notice letter issued on 13thDecember 2019. My Department has no record of a request for a review of the inspection findings being submitted by the person named.
This over-declaration in area resulted in the application of a reduction/penalty totalling €132.02 under the 2019 Basic Payment Scheme.