HomeNewsNoonan urged to strengthen future of young Limerick farmers

Noonan urged to strengthen future of young Limerick farmers



The capital expenses of young Limerick farmers should be written off against income tax in the first year, according to Macra na Feirme.

YOUNG farmers in Limerick and throughout the country need the financial support of Government and the Minister for Finance in the upcoming budget, according to Macra na Feirme in their 2017 Pre Budget Submission.

Capital taxes and reliefs are top of the agenda for young farmers with Macra calling for the introduction of a Capital Allowance system similar to the UK where farmers can write off larger amounts of capital expenditure in the first year against income tax.

Macra says that the future of farming relies on young farmers who need the necessary resources and supports to develop their farm business and fulfil the expectations of Food Wise 2025.

Supporting generational renewal, driving competitiveness, access to credit, land mobility, supporting education, advisory and research, tackling income volatility and supports for both rural youth and youth development work and farm safety are all contained in Macra’s pre budget submission.

Another point of the submission is calling on Government to help support female farmers as Macra is proposing the introduction of aid to cover the cost of replacement labour during maternity leave.

Macra’s national president Sean Finan said, “Our Pre Budget submission focuses on strengthening the future for young farmers and rural youth. Our proposals set out the building block that need to be put in place in the budget to create an environment within which young farmers can establish themselves in the industry and have a successful career.

The main points of the submission are:

· The extension of young farmer stamp duty relief on purchases of land up to 40 years of age and the increase in the Capital Acquisition Tax threshold that farmers can receive as gift or inheritance is also being sought to reflect increasing property values and to encourage the early transfer of farms.

· For income tax relief, Macra are seeking greater flexibility in the implementation of the 100% young farmer Stock Relief to reflect farm development and growth plans of young farmers. An extension of the land leasing tax incentive to include parent and children for one term of seven years is also being proposed.

· To help support female farmers Macra is proposing the introduction of aid to cover the cost of replacement labour during maternity leave.

· To aid competitiveness in the sector the organisation is calling for the introduction of a fund to encourage young farmers to engage in better grass utilisation, a key target in the Food Wise 2025 report. Future amendments to the Rural Development Program should include a focus on supporting grazing infrastructure under the TAMS scheme.

· Income volatility is a major issue and Macra has lobbied for a number of years for a measure to encourage farmers to put away some income in a good year and have access to this money in a tax efficient manor in a year of poor returns. Volatility is one of the biggest issues facing all farmers and the government needs to look at introducing an effective mechanism to tackle the damaging effects of volatility on farmers.

· On access to credit for young farmers Macra is seeking the introduction of funding from the European Investment Bank which is available to member states to access through the Rural Development Program.

· Agricultural education, advisory and research are essential support mechanisms for young farmers and these need to be further supported.

· For the development of rural youth who are the engine for growth and development in rural areas, Macra is calling for various measures including adequately financial resources to be provided in this budget for the provision of youth mental health services. There are also a number of measures that remain to be implemented and adequately funded under the report by the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Area including the provision of quality high speed broadband to all rural areas.

· Finally an increase in the investment in youth work through the Youth Services Grant Scheme is essential for Macra to provide services to help train and develop rural youth in leadership and personal development.


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