33,000 farmers lose out on €10 million over ineligible land

To date the Lamb Parcel Identification Scheme (LPIS) review has resulted in just over €10 million of Single Payment Scheme (SPS) payments being withheld from approximately 33,000 farmers and a further €2.3 million in Disadvantaged Area payments in 2013.

This is according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney who was responding to a parliamentary question tabled by Cork-based Michael McCarthy.

The Minister stated that following consultation with the EU Commission, as part of the normal accounting process, the Department was requested to undertake a complete review of the LPIS database.

He said this review involved in excess of 900,000 individual land parcels declared by some 132,000 applicants and resulted in the necessity to adjust parcels of a significant number of applicants, where it was established that ineligible features had been included.

Cork has been the county most impacted with issues having been identified for some 3,578 Cork farmers, the monetary value being some €2 million.

The Minister did highlight that a comprehensive review and appeals process has been implemented to ensure that the cases of individual farmers affected by the LPIS Review are fully scrutinised.

He said: “In the first instance, a farmer, who finds himself or herself in this position, can seek a review of the original decision by Department officials. If they are not happy with the outcome of the review, they can submit an appeal to the independently-chaired LPIS Appeals Committee. Thereafter, they are entitled to pursue their case with the Office of the Ombudsman.”

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