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Dail Debate – February 24th

Noel Harrington (Cork South West, Fine Gael)

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I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to this motion. I thank most of the Technical Group for tabling the motion. I note some signatures are absent from the endorsement of the motion. Did the group consult with the lads? Did it not get around to it? Did they fundamentally disagree with the proposition? I expect it was the latter and therein lies a telling story of a populist, incoherent and fractured group of self-styled socialists that can barely agree on something as catch-all as a motion in opposition. It is long in anger and problems, comprehensive with a sprinkle of fiction and well-written, but terribly short on answers, solutions or facts.

This motion essentially calls for the reversal of the hard and unpopular decisions that have rescued the country thanks to the sacrifices of the people. Decisions have been taken by a Government which has suffered because of them, but the country is recovering as a result. I have read the motion and considered the premise upon which it is based, namely, a survey of income and living conditions that the CSO published based on figures from 2013. As Deputy Barry said, 2013 was a little different from 2015, but at the same time we take the figures as they stand.

Richard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
They are the latest available figures. Read the rest of this entry »

New Guide will help farmers decipher Basic Payment Scheme Entitlements- Harrington

FarmFine Gael Cork South West TD, Noel Harrington, has said that a new guide for farmers will help them decipher their Basic Payment Scheme Entitlements and will assist their farm planning. “The new Guide to Basic Payment Scheme entitlements is a very positive development for smaller farm families, particularly those along the Western seaboard.

“Farmers will shortly receive an indication of the number and value of entitlements they may be allocated under the new CAP which will help them in their farm planning.

“To be eligible to take part in the scheme an applicant must be an active farmer who holds an allocation right and must submit a Basic Payment Scheme application in 2015. The number of entitlements that will be allocated will be determined by the number of eligible hectares declared by the farmer in 2013 or 2015, whichever is the lesser. The value of entitlements that will be allocated will be based on a fixed percentage of the value of Single Payment Scheme entitlements owned by the farmer in 2014 and any payment received under the 2014 Grassland Sheep Scheme. The value in the new Guide is an estimated value, in advance of all land being declared for 2015, but a definitive statement will issue to all farmers before April 2016.

“In a further boost to small farmers, Minister Coveney has announced a successful outcome to the negotiations with the European Commission, in relation to farmers who, for a variety of reasons, did not establish entitlements under the Single Payment Scheme and consequently do not hold an Allocation Right for the purposes of establishing entitlements under the new Scheme. These farmers will now be catered for under the provision known as the Scottish Derogation, the application process for which will be made available online in April of this year.”



EU Approval for Forestry Programme Secured

  • €482M of New Investment in Forestry
  • 44,000HA of New Forests, 700KM of New Forest Roads.
  • 20% Higher Premium Payments, 5% Higher Afforestation Grants, 14% Higher Road Grants
  • New Species with Rotations of 10-15Years
  • More Native Trees

Forest clipartNoel Harrington, TD for Cork South West, today (Tuesday) welcomed the announcement made by Tom Hayes, T.D., and Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with special responsibility for Forestry, that the Government has secured State Aid approval for the new Forestry Programme covering the period 2014 – 2020. This follows a long and detailed process of negotiation with the European Commission, culminating in a meeting between Minister Hayes and the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan to resolve the remaining issues.

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€1.4 billion GLAS scheme significant for the rural recovery – Harrington

DAFM logoFine Gael Cork South West TD, Noel Harrington, has welcomed the news that the €1.4bn GLAS scheme is to open on Monday (22nd February), saying it will play a significant role in the rural recovery. Deputy Harrington was speaking at the Fine Gael National Conference in Castlebar, where the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, announced the new €1.4 billion agri-environment scheme.

“The new €1.4bn will no doubt be welcomed by farmers throughout West Cork. This brings to an end Ireland’s long and complex negotiation with the European Commission, out of which the new scheme has emerged virtually unchanged and strongly endorsed.  The GLAS scheme represents a very significant investment in rural Ireland, and will play a significant role in the rural recovery. The scheme is going to help support families that have not yet felt the benefits of a recovering economy.

“A total of €1.4 billion has been allocated to GLAS over the lifetime of the programme, allowing a standard ‘package’ of up to € 5,000 for eligible farmers per annum, with an additional package of €2,000 per annum for those in GLAS+, in return for exceptional environmental commitment.

“The formal approval process for the RDP as a whole has still to be completed, however Minister Coveney has confirmed that there is a very clear understanding with the European Commission as to the shape of the new scheme, its priorities, the actions that should be applied and the rates of payment that will be made. This has allowed him to launch GLAS from Monday morning when preparation of applications can commence.

“This means that the completed proposals can be formally submitted when the first tranche opens, following confirmation of the agreed content of the Rural Development Programme, which is expected shortly.

“The Minister also said he was simplifying the application process for commonage farmers.  The requirement for 50% participation has been reconfigured as a target, rather than an eligibility criterion, and all shareholders can now submit individual applications to join GLAS in their own right.   Commonage advisers will also be given more time to complete the necessary plans.

“From Monday, the GLAS scheme will be open for applications on the Department of Agriculture website and I encourage all Cork farmers to start preparing the necessary materials as soon as possible.”