Financial assistance for young farmersN.I.
3.—(1) The Department may by order make a scheme to provide for the making, to such persons as may be specified in the scheme, of grants towards expenditure which—
(a)has been or is to be incurred for the purposes of, or in connection with, the establishment, expansion or carrying on of, an agricultural business;
(b)has been or is to be incurred in respect of such matters as may be specified in the scheme; and
(c)is approved by the Department for the purposes of a payment under the scheme.
(2) In paragraph (1), “expenditure”, without prejudice to the generality of that term, includes expenditure incurred or to be incurred in servicing a loan.
(3) A scheme under this Article shall include a requirement that any person applying for a grant under the scheme must be under the age of 40 at the time the application for the grant was made.
(4) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1), a scheme under this Article may—
(a)require applications for a grant to be made in a specified manner and within a specified period and at particular times;
(b)make provision as to the amount of any grant and the period during which it will be payable;
(c)provide for the avoidance of double payments where a person is entitled under any other statutory provision to a payment for a purpose mentioned in the scheme;
(d)confer powers of entry and inspection and impose requirements as to the keeping, preservation and production of records and other documents for the purpose of verifying entitlement to grants;
(e)in connection with any provision made by virtue of sub-paragraph (d) or the making of false statements for the purpose of obtaining a grant create offences punishable on summary conviction with a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale;
(f)contain such supplemental, consequential or incidental provision as the Department thinks fit.
(5) The Department may make the payment of a grant under a scheme under this Article or an approval under such a scheme subject to such conditions as the Department thinks fit; and any payment by way of such a grant shall be made by the Department in such manner and at such time, or by such instalments at such intervals or times, as the Department may determine.
(6) A condition imposed under paragraph (5) may require the recipient of the grant to make such repayments to the Department in such circumstances as may be specified in the condition.
(7) If at any time after the Department has approved any expenditure for the purposes of a grant under a scheme under this Article it appears to the Department—
(a)that any condition subject to which the approval was given or the grant has been made has not been complied with; or
(b)that any work in respect of expenditure on which the approval was given has been badly done, or has been or is being unreasonably delayed, or is unlikely to be completed; or
(c)that the person by whom the application for that approval or for the making of any payment was made gave information on any matter relevant to the giving of the approval or the making of the payment which was false or misleading in a material respect,
the Department may, subject to paragraph (8), revoke the approval in respect of the whole or part of the expenditure and, where in pursuance of paragraph (5) any payment has been made by the Department by way of grant, the Department may on demand recover—
(i)an amount equal to the payment which has been so made or such part thereof as the Department may specify; and
(ii)any interest, determined in accordance with the scheme, on that amount.
(8) Before refusing an application for a grant under a scheme under this Article or revoking an approval in whole or in part under paragraph (7), the Department—
(a)shall give to the person whose application has been refused or to whom any payment by way of grant would be payable, or from whom any such amount would be recoverable, as the case may be, a written notification of the reasons for the action proposed to be taken by the Department;
(b)shall afford that person an opportunity of appearing before and being heard by a person appointed for that purpose by the Department; and
(c)shall consider the report by a person so appointed and supply a copy of the report to the person mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) to whom the action proposed to be taken by the Department relates.
(9) An order under this Article shall be subject to negative resolution.