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Minister Coughlan Announces Refund Of €23.5 Million Modulation Monies To Farmers

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today announced that the refunds due to farmers, in relation to the deductions made from their 2007 Single Payments in respect of 5% Modulation deduction, would issue later this week.

The Minister explained: "While individual farmers are not liable for the 5% modulation reduction on the first €5,000 paid under the Single Payment Scheme, my Department is required under the EU regulations to make the deduction from all Scheme beneficiaries in the first instance and subsequently make the necessary refunds."

Minister Coughlan confirmed that refunds, worth approximately €23.5 million will be paid to almost 122,000 farmers this week. The Minister went on to explain that, in the context of the simplification of the CAP, she had been pressing Commissioner Fischer Boel to bring forward proposals, which would simplify the operation of the Single Payment Scheme.

In this instance, the Minister had suggested the replacement of the current system, which requires the making of deductions that subsequently fall due to be refunded to the farmers concerned, with a system where the first €5,000 of each Single Payment would be exempt from the modulation deduction. "This suggestion is in line with the simplification objective of the Commission and I am hopeful that it will form part of the CAP Health Check proposals, which are due to be published by the European Commission in May," the Minister said.

Date Released: 10 March 2008