The Early Retirement Scheme from Farming has been closed for applications since 2009.
In recent years, the priority of my Department has shifted to the encouragement of generational change for farmers by assisting the development of our young farmers. There is a range of supports in place including specific agri-taxation measures to incentivise this generational change. The agri-taxation measures specifically aimed at young farmers include 100% stock relief on income tax for certain young trained farmers and stamp duty exemption on transfers of land to young trained farmers.
Under the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme, there is also an enhanced capital investment Scheme for young trained farmers under the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes. This Scheme provides them with grant aid at a rate of 60% of the cost of the investment, compared to the standard grant rate of 40%, and I believe it is an important support and encouragement to young farmers starting in agriculture for the first time.
Generational renewal continues to be a priority for my Department and will form an important part of the CAP post-2020. My Department and I are actively engaging with other Member States and the EU on these issues during the current negotiations on new CAP proposals. We can then consider in more detail when we have the final EU Regulations as part of the wider consideration of all proposals for the next CAP.