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Minister Smith Welcomes Approval For Advance Payment Of 2008 Single Payment

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD confirmed that agreement was reached in Brussels this morning to his request that provision be made for an advance payment of the 2008 Single Payment.

The Minister said that he was "very pleased at the positive response of the EU Commissioner to my request and the level of support shown at this morning's meeting." Further to his formal application to the EU Commission, Minister Smith discussed the matter with EU Agriculture Commissioner, Mariann Fischer Boel at a Council of EU Agriculture Ministers earlier in the week.

Minister Smith said that today's decision "allows us to go ahead with an advance payment at a rate of 50 per cent from 16th October, to those applicants whose applications have been fully cleared, with the balancing payments being made from 1st December.

Minister Smith said "these payments and the payments under the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, which have commenced this week, would inject in excess of €750 million into the Irish rural economy in the coming weeks and would provide a very welcome boost for Irish farm families, particularly at this time of the year."

Date Released: 24 September 2008