24 May 2002

No tenant pension

TENANT farmers have accused the government of reneging on a promise to introduce a retirement scheme which would help ease hard-up farmers out of the industry.

DEFRA secretary Margaret Beckett confirmed in a parliamentary written answer last Thursday (May 16) that there were no plans to introduce a scheme.

The government had consulted on the issue when it drew up plans for implementing the EU Rural Development Regulation, but decided the money could be better spent on other measures, she said.

But Reg Haydon, chairman of the Tenant Farmers Association, said the government gave a manifesto commitment to implement a retirement scheme.

"This is a clear reversal of a pre-election promise," he said. &#42