FARMING can be rejuvenated with the help of national policies that encourage the handing over of farms to the next generation, according to an IFA submission to Finance Minister Michael Noonan.
The IFA says greater farm land mobility can be facilitated by retaining stamp duty relief for young trained farmers, capital gains tax retirement relief for qualifying farmers and the 90% agricultural relief for recipients who put the land into efficient agricultural use.
The IFA also proposes the reduction of stamp duty rates for farmland, the introduction of capital gains tax relief for farm consolidation and continuation of the land-leasing tax exemption scheme; and it is looking for the retention of capital allowances and stock relief to encourage farm investment and simplification of the taxation system for sole traders.
IFA president John Bryan said: “IFA welcomes the commitment in the Programme for Government to promote greater land mobility, encourage involvement of young farmers and to support the recommendations of the Food Harvest 2020 report. Farmers require supportive Government policies, through necessary taxation measures and farm structural reform schemes, if the growth targets set out in this report are to be achieved.”
He said that while the IFA is aware of the commitment in the National Recovery Plan and the EU/IMF deal to reform capital taxes by end 2011, any reduction or removal of key farm taxation measures would reduce both the productivity and growth potential of the agriculture sector.
“The taxation measures currently in place are critically important to ensuring reform and growth in the agriculture sector through encouraging intergenerational farm transfers and increasing the availability of land.”
The IFA submission identifies both the structural weaknesses of the Irish agriculture sector today and its potential for growth. Mr Bryan says these goals can be achieved through three measures: encouraging entry into and exit from farming; increasing land mobility; and promoting investment in farming.
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