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Minister Coughlan announces Details of the 2006 National Reserve and Claw Back Arrangements for the 2007 Single Payment Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today announced details of the two main categories under which farmers will be entitled to apply for an allocation of Single Payment entitlements from the 2006 National Reserve. The Minister made her announcement following consultation in the Single Payment Advisory Committee comprising representatives from the farming organisations, Teagasc and her Department.

2006 National Reserve

Minister Coughlan said that unlike 2005, when there was a number of mandatory categories to be catered for under the National Reserve, this year there is only one mandatory category as follows:

(ii) Farmers who commenced farming after 31 December 2002 or who, while farming during 2002, did not receive any direct payments in respect of that scheme year (Category B on the application form). The income and educational qualifications that applied in 2005 will again apply to this category.

The Minister said that new entrants to farming after 31 December 2002 were also catered for under the 2005 National Reserve. However, under those arrangements new entrants who were farming leased or rented land were not eligible for an allocation on the grounds that they had the option of also leasing or renting in any entitlements from the farmer from whom the land was leased/rented. The Minister said there were also concerns surrounding leasing of land by new entrants and the arrangements for consolidation of entitlements in 2005. Because of the timing of the announcement of the National Reserve for 2006 such concerns were now mitigated to a large extent and the Minister said she had, therefore, decided that in certain circumstances, new entrants farming leased/rented land would now be eligible to apply for entitlements from the 2006 National Reserve. New entrants who are farming leased/rented land will have to be able to demonstrate a genuine commitment to farming. The Minister said that in such cases the lease/rental arrangements must have been in place prior to submission of the 2004 Area Aid application form. The leased/rented land must have been declared on the 2004, application form and on the 2005 and 2006 Single Payment application form. Where an applicant can fulfil these conditions and is allocated entitlements from the National Reserve he/she will then have to continue farming for at least a further 5 years.

Minister Coughlan also said that successful applicants under category C of the 2005 National Reserve (those who between 1 January 2000 and 19 October 2003, participated in the milk restructuring scheme and converted to a farming sector for which a direct payment would have been payable during the reference period) will now be eligible for a top-up from the 2006 National Reserve to reflect the increased value of the Dairy Premium in 2006. The Minister said that her Department will automatically apply this top-up and that therefore the farmers concerned need not make application to the 2006 National Reserve.

Applications forms for the 2006 National Reserve are now available on the Department's website www.agriculture.gov.ie, from Department offices and from Teagasc offices.

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is Friday 20 October 2006.

The Minister went on to say that the National Reserve arrangements for Sugar Beet farmers would be announced in due course. In the meantime, the Minister said she would consider, in conjunction with the EU Commission, the most appropriate method for dealing with any surplus funds that may accrue to the 2006 National Reserve and that a further announcement in this regard will also be made in due course.

ARRANGEMENT FOR CLAW-BACK ON ENTITLEMENTS SOLD FOR THE 2007 SINGLE PAYMENT SCHEME YEAR

The Minister also announced that the following claw-back arrangements will apply to entitlements sold with and without land in respect of the 2007 Single Payment Scheme: -

  • Sales of entitlements without land - 15% (30% last year - maximum provided in EU regulations is 50%)
  • Sales of entitlements with land - 2.5% (5% last year - maximum 10%)
  • Sales of entitlements with an entire holding - 2.5% (2.5% last year - maximum 5%)

No claw-back will apply in the vast majority of transactions where entitlements are transferred with land. These include:

  • Transfers of entitlements with land by way of gift or inheritance.
  • Transfers of entitlements without land by way of gift or inheritance within family.
  • Leases of entitlements (which must be accompanied by the lease of land)
  • Rental agreements in respect of lands and entitlements
  • Sales of entitlements with or without land to new entrants to farming.

Applications forms for the transfer and trading of entitlements for the 2007 Single Payment Scheme are now available on the Department's website www.agriculture.gov.ie, from Department offices and from Teagasc offices.

13 September, 2006

Date Released: 13 September 2006