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Tenant Farmers (Retirement Scheme)

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 16th May 2002.

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Photo of Peter Ainsworth Peter Ainsworth Conservative, East Surrey

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to introduce a retirement scheme for tenant farmers.

Photo of Margaret Beckett Margaret Beckett The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

holding answer 10 May 2002

I have no plans at present to introduce such a scheme. We consulted on the early retirement provisions of the EU Rural Development Regulation when drawing up plans for implementation of the regulation, but in the light of responses to that consultation we decided that the limited funds available for implementation would be better directed towards other measures to assist the industry. This is because the type of early retirement scheme available under the regulation could not be targeted effectively towards those who should benefit, such as tenant farmers.

The general question of policy on helping farmers to leave the industry will, however, be considered further in the light of the feedback we receive on the issues we have asked stakeholders to consider following publication of the Policy Commission report.

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