§ Mr. Llwyd
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many representations he has received over the past three years on the subject of initiating an early retirement scheme for farmers; what research his Department has(a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into the likely benefits of this to the tenanted sector; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Boswell
In the past three years, the Department has answered four parliamentary questions and 28 Ministers' correspondence on the subject of an early retirement scheme for farmers. Council regulation 2079/92 permits member states to provide early retirement pensions to farmers aged between 55 and normal retirement age who release their land for amalgamation with other holdings or for non-agricultural use. This option has not been taken upon the United Kingdom because we take the view that its terms are not appropriate to the conditions of agriculture here. For that reason, we have not commissioned any research on early retirement for farmers nor evaluated the likely impact on the tenanted sector.