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Minister Coughlan increases the Single Payment threshold €6,000 to €10,000 for the Special Sheep category in the 2007 National Reserve

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today announced that she has decided to increase the existing Single Payment threshold for qualification under the special sheep category of the 2007 National Reserve from €6,000 to €10,000.

The Minister said she had decided to include a special category under the 2007 National Reserve for sheep farmers for whom at least 40% of their Single Payment was derived from direct payments associated with sheep production (Ewe Premium/Rural Word Premium) during the reference period and their existing Single Payment was less than €6,000. Allocations were to be capped at the District Electoral Division (DED) average value of entitlements or a total Single Payment of €6,000 whichever is the lesser and allocations to successful applicants would not exceed €1,000. It was estimated that the measure would have been worth some €6m annually to some 7,500 sheep farmers.

The Minister said her Department had identified potential applicants and sent them individual application forms for the measure. It has transpired however that some 2,500 of the farmers identified have not applied under the measure despite having been issued with application forms. Increasing the existing Single Payment threshold from €6,000 to €10,000 should result in achieving expenditure of €6m under the measure. The Minister said her Department will now send an application form to those sheep farmers in the €6,000 - €10,000 bracket so that they can apply under the measure.

Date Released: 23 April 2008