By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

2006 Single Payment Scheme/2006 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme: Closing date for receipt of applications

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan, TD, today announced that the closing date for receipt of applications under the 2006 Single Payment Scheme and the 2006 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme will be 5.30 pm on Monday, 24 April 2006.

The Minister confirmed that a personalised application form, with pre-printed details, will be posted next month to all farmers who applied under the 2005 Schemes. "The details are pre-printed as a service to applicants," the Minister said. "However, the responsibility rests with the applicant to examine the pre-printed details carefully and to ensure that they are correct. If the details are incorrect and have not been amended by the applicant, penalties may be incurred."

The Minister explained that each form is pre-printed or partially pre-printed with details of the land parcels declared under the 2005 Single Payment Scheme. "Even if the pre-printed details on the back page of the application form are correct and do not require any amendment, there will be some boxes that are blank and must be completed as appropriate," she said. The Minister also pointed out that applicants are obliged to complete any details relevant to their application that have not been pre-printed on the back page and, of course, to complete the relevant sections on the front page.

The Minister urged applicants to check pre-printed details with due care and to correct them where necessary, so that the signed application submitted to the Department is true, accurate and complete in all respects. "In taking the time to do this," the Minister said, "applicants can greatly assist in the speedy processing of their applications, as an incomplete application form may render an application invalid or incur processing delays and/or penalties."

The Minister also indicated that her Department is now writing to those farmers to whom Entitlements had been allocated under the Single Payment Scheme but who do not appear to have submitted an application form in 2005. The final deadline for the submission of applications in order to activate entitlements was 10 June 2005. Where an application was not submitted in 2005, the Entitlements may be surrendered to the National Reserve and thereby lost to the farmer concerned. "This is a very important exercise," the Minister explained. "The persons involved would be well advised to respond to my Department immediately they receive this letter. A three-week period will be allowed for the submission of responses. Following this period, a decision will then be made as to whether the Entitlements at issue should be surrendered to the National Reserve."

The Minister indicated that this process will include the following: (1) the assessment of cases where a farmer is seeking to have his/her 2005 Single Payment Scheme application accepted at this stage on the grounds of Force Majeure/Exceptional Circumstances; (2) the assessment of cases where a farmer is seeking to have his/her Entitlements activated on the grounds of Force Majeure/ Exceptional Circumstances as he/she was not farming in 2005; (3) the assessment of applications to transfer the Entitlements by way of inheritance or gift. This provision can only be utilised where the proposed recipient submitted a Single Payment Scheme application by the deadline of 10 June 2005; (4) the assessment of applications to transfer the Entitlements by Administrative Transfer where there was an addition or deletion of a name or names to the Herd Number and where the proposed recipient submitted a Single Payment Scheme application by the deadline of 10 June 2005.

The Minister said that her Department would also be writing to those persons who submitted a 2005 Single Payment Scheme application form purely in order to activate their Single Payment Entitlements. This letter will outline the options open to them in 2006 - to commence farming and submit a Single Payment Scheme application form or to transfer their Entitlements with lands by way of sale, lease, rental agreement, inheritance or gift.

The Minister recalled that the Dairy Premium was decoupled and incorporated with the Single Payment with effect from 2005. It applied to farmers who held a milk quota on 31 March 2005 and who were involved in milk production during the 2004/2005 milk quota year or who commenced deliveries prior to 16 May 2005.

The Minister said that, in order to assist farmers, her Department was issuing statements to almost 23,000 dairy farmers outlining the quantity of milk used for the calculation of the Dairy Premium and the amount of Premium established in each case.

Turning to the reform of the Sugar Regime and the impact on the Single Payment, the Minister said: "I have decided to fix the 2001, 2002 and 2004 marketing years as the Reference Period for the Sugar Sector. I have also decided that the three year average of the individual farmers' quantities of sugar beet covered by growers' delivery contracts with Irish Sugar Ltd will provide the basis for calculating the level of compensation for individual farmers."

The Minister explained that the general consensus is that Ireland should use the contracted quantities for the establishment of the level of compensation for individual farmers.

"It is the view that this is the most equitable and practical method for the calculation of the compensation and it is recommended that Ireland proceed along these lines. This will also enable the Department to calculate the level of compensation for sugar beet growers quickly and efficiently. This is important, as the farmers in question will have to declare sufficient hectares to benefit from their full Single Payment in 2006. Farmers who benefit from the sugar element of the decoupled payment can avail of consolidation in 2006 in order to benefit from their full single payment," the Minister added.

In conclusion, Minister Coughlan pointed that the European Commission had confirmed to her officials that beet growers, who consolidated their entitlements in 2005, will be able to have the additional entitlements added to their consolidated entitlements in 2006 provided that their situation has not altered.

22 February 2006

Date Released: 22 February 2006