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Minister Coughlan announces 500M euro advance payments from 16th October under the Single Payment Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today confirmed the commencement of advance payments from next Monday, 16 October under the 2006 Single Payment Scheme.

"I am delighted to say that advance payments will be issuing next week to the vast majority of 2006 Single Payment Scheme applicants" the Minister said. She recalled that the early release of these payments was made possible by the recent agreement at EU level to Ireland's request for advance payments under the 2006 Single Payment Scheme.

"These payments are being made at a rate of 50%, with the balancing payments scheduled to commence on 1 December", the Minister explained. "These advance payments are worth in the region €500 million in total and will initially be paid to approximately 113,000 farmers" she added.

The Minister explained that advance payments would continue to issue over the coming weeks, as individual cases are cleared. "I would urge all farmers to respond to any correspondence from my Department, in order to facilitate payment" the Minister said. "Where there are unresolved issues relating to individual applications, advance payments cannot issue" she explained.

"These payments under the 2006 Single Payment Scheme incorporate both the third and final instalment of the increase in the Dairy Premium and also the sugar beet element" the Minister stated. Continuing Minister Coughlan said that, "While the task of incorporating the sugar beet element into the Single Payment is quite involved, a large number of the farmers concerned will receive this as part of the advance payments. However, where this is not possible, the farmers concerned will receive the advance based on their existing entitlements where their application is fully processed".

The Minister noted that these payments follow the payments under the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, which began two weeks ago. "To date, over €230 million has been paid out under the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, to in excess of 94,000 farmers" the Minister noted, adding "Payments continue to issue as cases are cleared. The high level of payments made under both Disadvantaged Areas Scheme and Single Payment Scheme reflect both the success of the processing systems within my Department and the commitment of the staff involved as well as quality and accuracy of the applications submitted by farmers.

"In order to facilitate those farmers with specific queries relating to their payments, I have had dedicated Lo-call numbers allocated"
the Minister explained.

The Lo-call numbers are as follows:
1890 252 242: Kildare, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Waterford and Wicklow;
1890 252 243: Carlow, Kilkenny, Louth, Monaghan, and Sligo;
1890 252 244: Donegal, Dublin, Offaly and Wexford;
1890 252 235: Clare, Cavan, and Limerick;
1890 252 236: Cork, Westmeath;
1890 200 502: Galway, Kerry, Mayo, Meath, Tipperary and Roscommon.

11 October, 2006

Date Released: 11 October 2006