The Agriculture (Hardship Payment) Scheme (Northern Ireland) 2009


(This note is not part of the Scheme)

This Scheme provides for hardship payments to be made by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to producers who suffered financial loss as a direct result of the flooding in August 2008.

The Scheme—

(a)establishes eligibility criteria (Article 4);

(b)specifies the manner in which applications are to be made (Article 5);

(c)specifies the method of determining the rates of payment (Article 6);

(d)enables the Department to reduce any payment due or paid if a previous de minimis aid payment has been made to the applicant in the past three years, for any purpose, or if an insurance payment has been received or a claim made in respect of the same financial loss claimed under the Scheme (Article 7);

(e)provides for the Department to withhold payment in any case where false or misleading information has been provided or where a person fails to cooperate with an authorised officer (Article 8);

(f)provides for the recovery of payments made under the Scheme (Article 9); and

(g)enables an authorised officer to exercise powers of entry and have access to relevant records and documents (Article 10).

Under Section 4(1) of the Agriculture (Temporary Assistance) Act (Northern Ireland) 1954, any person who, being required or authorised under or by virtue of this scheme to furnish any information, record or document, furnishes any information, record or document which, to his knowledge, is false in a material particular shall be guilty of an offence and shall, without prejudice to Article 10 of the Perjury (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 (S.I.) 1979/No. 1714 (N.I. 19), be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale or to imprisonment not exceeding twelve months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

Under Section 4(2) of that Act any person—

(h)who acts in contravention of, or neglects or fails to comply with any provision contained in this Scheme; or

(i)obstructs or impedes an authorised officer in the exercise of any power under this Scheme,

shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.