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Minister Smith allocates additional funding to Early Retirement Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today announced that he had provided limited additional funding to the Early Retirement Scheme, with a view to accepting as many as possible of those applications that were completed or close to completion at the time entry to the scheme was suspended on 14th October 2008.

Minister Smith said that "the additional funding will allow a number of new applications to be accepted, limited by reference to the amount of the additional funding now available. I have consistently said that I would like to see those applications, that were completed or close to completion when entry to the scheme was suspended, progressed as soon as budgetary conditions allow."

The Minister said that, "in order to give those who might be eligible for admission to the scheme an opportunity to apply, farmers may submit their applications, accompanied by a lease/deed of transfer stamped by the Revenue Commissioners, to the Early Retirement Section in Johnstown Castle on or before 30th October 2009."

Minister Smith emphasised that, because of the limited number of applications that can be accepted, there is no guarantee that all completed applications received by 30th October 2009 will be accepted.

In processing new applications, the Department will give priority to those applications which have leases/deeds of transfer stamped by the Revenue Commissioners prior to 14th October 2008 and, thereafter, priority will be determined by reference to the date on which the lease/deed of transfer was stamped.

Minister Smith said that any decision about further reopening the scheme would be taken only in the context of the annual Budget/Estimates process

Date Released: 23 September 2009