Capital taxes and reliefs are top of the agenda for young farmers, with Macra na Feirme calling for the introduction of a Capital Allowance system similar to the UK in its pre-budget submission.

The scheme would allow farmers to write off larger amounts of capital expenditure in the first year against income tax.

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 are all contained in Macra’s submission. It urges:

The extension of young farmer stamp duty relief on purchases of land up to 40 years of age, and an 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;

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;

The introduction of aid to cover the cost of replacement labour during maternity leave;

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 Programme should include a focus on supporting grazing infrastructure under the TAMS scheme;

An effective mechanism to tackle the damaging effects of volatility on farmers;

The introduction of funding from the European Investment Bank for young farmers;

Further support for agricultural education, advisory and research;

Measures for the provision of youth mental health services and provision of quality high-speed broadband to all rural areas;

An increase in the investment in youth work through the Youth Services Grant Scheme .

Speaking about Macra na Feirme’s 2017 pre-budget submission, 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.

“Our document sets out various taxation changes and measures as well as other proposals dealing with volatility, access to finance, access to education, farm safety.

“As a representative body for rural young people, we are calling for an increase in our youth sector funding as well as highlight other rural youth issues.”


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