18 March 1998
Beef retirement scheme worth less than £30,000 per farmer
By FWi staff
FARMERS will be paid less than £30,000 each to get out of beef production, it was revealed this morning (Wednesday).
A Government consultation paper released today states farmers will receive a lump sum of £11,240, plus £703 per hectare, under a proposed early retirement scheme to restructure the UK beef industry. But a ceiling has been set at £28,100.
Farmers can choose to take the money on an annual basis, however. This option pays an annuity of £3,747, plus £234 per hectare. But state retirement pension payments will be reduced if necessary to ensure that no farmer receives more than £9,360 a year.
Under European Union rules, the early retirement scheme will be available only to farmers who are more than 55 years old. Applicants must obtain at least 50% of their income from farming and must have been involved in beef production for at least 10 years.
Employees who have worked full-time on the same farm for at least two years will also qualify for an maximum early retirement payment of £7,025 (lump sum) or £2,342 (annuity). But they must be more than 55 years old and have spent the last five years as a farm worker.
Ministry of Agriculture officials have invited comments from farmers representatives before finalising any arrangements. The consultation period ends at the beginning of May.