Dáil Éireann - Volume 512 - 07 December, 1999

Written Answers - Farm Retirement Scheme.

168. Mr. Creed asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the circumstances regarding the reduction in levels of payment under the farm retirement scheme in early 1999; and when farmers will be compensated for this reduction. [26050/99]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): Pensions paid under the scheme of early retirement from farming, along with certain other payments, were reduced by approximately 5.055% when the Irish pound was revalued against the euro on the introduction of the single European currency.

The Council of Ministers have agreed that compensation may be paid for this reduction. However, the approval of the European Commission is required before payment can be made. While my Department has been pursuing the issue as a matter of urgency, it has not been possible to secure the Commission's approval as early as had been hoped. It is now hoped that formal approval will be received by the end of this month and payment will then be made at the earliest date.