Written Answers. - Farm Retirement Scheme.

John Perry

Question:

374 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development if the new pension under the farm retirement pension will be indexed linked; the provisions in place to index link the pensions for those in the old scheme; the plans he has to deal with this discrimination; the number of farmers in County Sligo and County Leitrim who joined up in the early days of the retirement scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19381/00]

In its proposals to the European Commission for a new scheme of early retirement from farming, which form part of Ireland's CAP rural development plan for the period 2000-6, my Department included provision for an element of indexation of payments. The Commission took the view, however, that such a provision was not admissible under the relevant regulation, and my Department then submitted a revised proposal for a higher rate of payment. The rural development plan, which incorporates this revised proposal, is now in the final stages of approval by the commission.

In relation to rates of payment under the previous scheme, the Commission services have indicated that a proposal to increase the rates would not be entertained. The cumulative numbers of participants in the previous scheme at the end of each year from 1994 to 1999 is as follows:

Year Ended

Scheme Participants in County Sligo

Scheme participants in County Leitrim

31 December 1994

42

10

31 December 1995

74

36

31 December 1996

96

51

31 December 1997

111

57

31 December 1998

130

63

31 December 1999

149

65

Phil Hogan

Question:

375 Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development when payment will be made to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny in respect of the farm retirement scheme. [19431/00]

In August this year, the solicitors acting for the person named were informed that her application was ineligible because she had proposed to lease the holding to another party with whom she held it in joint tenancy. Joint tenants do not hold separate parts of a holding; both parties are full owners of an undivided moiety of the fee simple estate. Therefore the person named could not, as joint tenant of the fee simple, lease her interest to the other holder of an undivided share.