Pork crisis payout up to €70m lower than estimated
THE State's compensation bill for the pork contamination crisis is set to be up to €70m lower than originally estimated.
The discovery of dioxins above safety limits led to all Irish pork products being temporarily withdrawn from supermarket shelves across the world in December 2008.
The Dail Public Accounts Committee heard yesterday that the Government had set aside €200m for compensating pig meat producers whose products were destroyed -- but now would have to pay out much less.
Department of Agriculture secretary-general Tom Moran said the final cost was likely to be in the region of €140-€150m -- with €20m of this sum coming from European Union funds. Fianna Fail TD Sean Fleming said it was important to take every step possible to recover costs so that the entire bill was not borne by the taxpayer.
Mr Moran said that the department was leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to recover money from pig meat producers whose losses were partly covered by their insurance policies.
However, he said he could not comment on whether the State would be able to recover money from the animal feed processing plant at the centre of the contamination scare, because that was the subject of legal action.