Written Answers. - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

394 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development when the new REP scheme will be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19893/00]

Ireland's CAP rural development plan for the period 2000-06, which was submitted to the European Commission at the end of December 1999, is in the final stages of approval by the Commission. This plan covers REPS along with early retirement, compensatory allowances and forestry.

My Department has had consultations with the farming organisations about the detailed provisions of the new scheme. Following these consultations the scheme documentation is being finalised, and the new scheme will be implemented at the earliest possible date.