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11 March 2009: Smith announces €24 million refund to 122,000 farmers

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith, TD, today announced that the payment of refunds worth in excess of €24 million to more than 122,000 farmers will begin this week. The refunds relate to the deductions made from their Single Payments in respect of Modulation.

Minister Smith explained "While individual farmers are not liable for the modulation reduction on the first €5,000 paid under the Single Payment Scheme, we are required under EU rules to make the deduction from all Scheme beneficiaries in the first instance and make the necessary refunds later. I am delighted, therefore, that my Department is now in a position to make these refunds, worth in excess of €24 million."

The Minister added: "I am particularly pleased that agreement has been reached, under the recently concluded Health Check negotiations, whereby we will no longer be required to make deductions for Modulation in respect of the first €5,000 of a farmer's Single Payment. This is a sensible change to the rules and one for which I argued strongly". This change is with effect from the 2009 Scheme.

11th March 2009

Date Released: 13 March 2009