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 Vote 31 - Agriculture Fisheries & Food

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PostSubject: Vote 31 - Agriculture Fisheries & Food   Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:45 am

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PostSubject: Re: Vote 31 - Agriculture Fisheries & Food   Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:39 pm

On the front of the front of the Tribune today, Sunday 25th of January, the headline is a story about €400 million overdue on grants to farmers who put in slurry storage tanks last year to meet the requirements of an EU directive.

Will they get the money ? The Government originally budgetted for €125 million...

I'll post the story when it appears online in the Tribune.
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PostSubject: Re: Vote 31 - Agriculture Fisheries & Food   Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:56 pm

I hope they get the money...

We've a shed built on the strength of it.
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PostSubject: Re: Vote 31 - Agriculture Fisheries & Food   Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:47 pm

http://www.tribune.ie/article/2009/jan/25/exclusive-revealed-new-400m-hole-in-the-public-cof/

Quote :
Grant Aid Payments Wildly Underestimated

A new €400m-plus hole has emerged in the public finances after the government seriously underestimated what it will have to pay in grants to farmers this year.

The Sunday Tribune has learned that the Farm Waste Management Scheme is due to cost the state well in excess of €500m this year – more than four times the €125m provided for by the Department of Agriculture in its 2009 estimates.

Ministers have been told by agriculture minister Brendan Smith that the government will now have to come up with an extra €400m-plus to meet liabilities to farmers or try to persuade them to accept some form of deferred payments arrangement.

The Farm Waste Management Scheme, which helps farmers carry out work upgrading slurry storage in line with EU rules, was introduced in 2006 with a deadline of 31 December 2008. There was a huge late rush of applications for grants from farmers who had completed the work on their farms.

Around 17,000 farmers have already been paid combined grants of over €500m but another 17,000 farmers now have applications outstanding. At an average grant of €33,000 per farm, that suggests a further liability for the state of around €560m – around €430m more than planned in the government estimates.

>>>>> Read More
http://www.tribune.ie/article/2009/jan/25/exclusive-revealed-new-400m-hole-in-the-public-cof/


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PostSubject: Re: Vote 31 - Agriculture Fisheries & Food   Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:20 am

Brendan Smith and Padraig Walshe on Morning Ireland this morning. Walshe says the the government should have known that 17,000 farmers were going to apply for the slurry storage scheme but they didn't store the nuts away in the nest for the winter when the farmers would be applying.

Smith is saying what - that farmers told him it wouldn't be done ???

I'll have to start putting links here to RTE's sites...
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PostSubject: Re: Vote 31 - Agriculture Fisheries & Food   Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:56 pm

That's what he's saying in a nutshell - that because the IFA were asking for the closing date to be extended he couldn't have expected so many to be finished DESPITE having the applications over a year ago.

Which is not the same thing. The closing date for the claim was late 08, and anyone with an ear to the ground knew that this was coming - even the Dept, because there were all sorts of measures put in place by them and Teagasc to deal with the huge numbers who got their claims in at the last minute.

Worth pointing out here too that the farmers have already spent the money - they being the only ones keeping construction workers off the dole for the last 18 months, and are waiting for the rebate. It's not a handout.
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PostSubject: Re: Vote 31 - Agriculture Fisheries & Food   Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:03 pm

Smith was arguing on Morning Ireland this morning - did you hear him? I'm sure he was saying that the IFA had promised him that they wouldn't be building the slurry storage pits and vats. I think he claims he was taken by surprise or worse ..
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PostSubject: Re: Vote 31 - Agriculture Fisheries & Food   Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:07 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Smith was arguing on Morning Ireland this morning - did you hear him? I'm sure he was saying that the IFA had promised him that they wouldn't be building the slurry storage pits and vats. I think he claims he was taken by surprise or worse ..

No I didn't hear him, but husband did and I got the lowdown on it. I don't think that's what he was saying. He says he was taken by surprise because the farmers weren't supposed to all be finished with their paperwork done by the closing date. Hence he feels ambushed by his own cleverness in not extending the deadline, hoist by his own petard, one might say.
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PostSubject: Re: Vote 31 - Agriculture Fisheries & Food   Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:20 pm

http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0126/morningireland_av.html?2480719,null,209

Walshe says that applications for grants closed in June 2007 yet the Tribune came out with the information that the application closing date was 31st December 2008. That latter date was the point at which the work should have been finished. Is that right?

"It would have been known from June 2007 the number of applications - there were actually 42,000 applications, it is reckoned that 34,000 farmers completed the work, there were 8000 who didn't do the work ...and 17,000 have been paid and 17,000 are still waiting. And one of these jobs costs around 30k " - Walshe

Apparently the IFA wanted extended the date by which this Nitrates Directives work had to be completed but the Government insisted that it was not possible. The farmers could have been completing the work this year or next and the Gov. would be owing them the money next year but they were turned down.

The EU Directive was imposed by the ECJ back in 2004, according to Smith and Ireland was subject to daily fines after that while the Directives prescription weren't met.

More feet-dragging back then by the government it seems.
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