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Balancing Payments of €609 Million Under Single Payment Scheme to Commence

Total payments in 2008 to over 120,000 farmers to reach almost €1.5 Billion.

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today announced that his Department will be issuing balancing payments to farmers under the 2008 Single Payment Scheme on Monday next, 1 December.

The Minister explained that for the majority of applicants, these payments, worth €609 million, represent the balancing 50% payment due under the Single Payment Scheme and will bring the total amount paid under the 2008 Scheme to more than €1.2 billion to over 120,000 farmers. "The regulatory payment date for the Single Payment is 1 December," ,the Minister explained "but following a strong case which I made to the Commission in early autumn, I secured Commissioner Fisher Boel's approval to make these advance payments from 16 October".

The Minister confirmed that payments are also continuing to issue under the 2008 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, with in excess of 97% of beneficiaries now paid. "These payments currently total more than €246 million" the Minister said.

Turning to refunds of Modulation, the Minister pointed out that some €24 million had been paid, earlier this year, in respect of the 2007 Scheme and he confirmed that the refunds under the 2008 Scheme would be made early in the New Year. The Minister said that, as part of the agreement on the EU CAP Health Check proposals, following submissions made by him and other Ministers, it would no longer be necessary to deduct the Modulation from the first €5,000 after 2008. "I am pleased that this change will simplify matters for farmers and will also mean that they no longer have to wait some months for the refund" the Minister said.

Concluding, the Minister pointed out that, with the issuing of the balancing payments under the Single Payment Scheme, the combined value of payments issued by his Department in 2008 under these measures (2008 Single Payment Scheme, 2008 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme and Modulation refund) would be almost €1.5 billion.

Date Released: 26 November 2008