Thursday, 31 March 2022
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
127. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his consideration for further extensions to be allowed under TAMS LESS given the current difficulties in delivery of low-emission slurry spreading machinery to derogation farmers under this scheme; if a new TAMS LESS application option can be made available to derogation farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16975/22]
An indicative budget of €395m was made available for TAMS II under the current RDP (2014-2020). The total allocation for the full suite of seven TAMS measures including the Low Emission Slurry Spreading Scheme (or LESS) for the transitional period to the end of 2022 is now €507 million plus €96 million under the European Recovery Instrument (EURI) for 2021 to 2023. To date, expenditure under TAMS has exceeded €337 million.
There are tremendous benefits for LESS equipment in achieving our environmental goals which is why these investments have particular flexibilities under TAMS. Uniquely among the suite of seven TAMS measures, the LESS measure is not subject to the overall TAMS investment ceiling of €80,000. A separate investment ceiling of €40,000 is available in respect of LESS. Uptake under this measure has been significantly greater than originally expected with over 8,800 applications approved to date. Payments of over €56.6m have issued in respect of LESS equipment to date.
In relation to the LESS approvals, the time period in which a payment claim must be submitted in respect of LESS equipment was extended from 6 months from the date of approval to 12 months. This change was made in order to address the issue of supply. In relation to further extensions, these are made available on a case-by-case basis.
TAMS extension requests can be submitted to the email address provided on the individual farmer's approval letter between the 11th and 12th month of the approval. Extensions before the 11th month of an approval expires may continue to be submitted on the online extension request system. All requests must include the required supporting documentation.
As regards derogation farmers, the 4th Nitrates Action Programme provided for compulsory usage of LESS equipment for all farmers operating above 170 kg N/ha. Earlier this month the 5th Nitrates Action Programme was signed into law by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
In order to meet our ammonia and Ag Climatise targets, the compulsory implementation of LESS is being extended to more farmers under the 5th Nitrates Action Programme. This is being done on a phased basis.
Ireland's draft CAP Strategic Plan 2023 – 2027 which lists the range of interventions currently being proposed, was submitted to the EU Commission on 31st December 2021.