Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said Tuesday’s Budget measures such as a new self-employed tax credit of €550, and USC reductions, will mean over €800 in additional net income, or 3.5%, based on the average 2014 National Farm Survey family farm income of €26,974.

Noting how important the farming and agri-food sector is to the economy, Finance Minister Michael Noonan also introduced a new succession transfer proposal.

Subject to state aid approval by the EU, it will allow two people, for example family members, to enter a partnership with provision for transfer of the farm to the younger farmer at the end of a specified period, not exceeding 10 years.

To support this transfer, an income tax credit worth up to €5,000 per annum for five years will be allocated to the partnership and split according to the profit-sharing agreement.

A full year Exchequer cost of €10 million is projected.

Minister Noonan also announced renewal for three years of four existing tax measures on stock relief and stamp duty relief; and retention of agricultural relief from capital acquisitions tax.

Farmers will also benefit from the increase in the parent-child capital acquisitions tax threshold from €225,000 to €280,000.

At a projected annual cost of €1m, removal of forestry income from the ‘High Earners Restriction’ for active foresters and farmers who manage their plantations on a commercial basis, means that clear-felling income will become tax-free.

The haulage industry — vital in farming and other rural industries — has welcomed a motor tax reduction for all commercial vehicles above 4000kg (worth over €4,000 per vehicle above 19,000kg).

Heavy commercial goods owners are advised to renew their motor tax for the shortest period possible, to avail of the new rates from January 1 next.

IFA president Eddie Downey said the increase in funding for agriculture for next year to €1.3bn will ensure that farmers entering new schemes under the RDP will finally get much-needed payments after years of cuts.

Minister Coveney said the Exchequer contribution to his Department’s expenditure will increase by €109m, to €1,351m in 2016.

Sheep fencing and grain storage will be included in the next tranche of TAMS with funding allocated of €35.8m.

Junior Agriculture Minister Tom Hayes welcomed the increased funding of €12m for the organic sector.

Department expenditure will includes increased provision for the Bord Bia Beef and Lamb Quality Assurance Programme; an increase of €6m or almost 9% to €74m in the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund; and €2.8m to assist local authorities in reducing incidences of horse abandonment and in advancing horse projects for urban and traveller horse owners.

IFA, ICMSA, and ICOS had only one Budget complaint — the lack of measures to help farmers manage milk price volatility, such as an income deferral scheme.

ICMSA President John Comer said this is the single biggest challenge facing farmers.


Lifestyle

When Marisa Murphy went to play as a teenager on Dinish Island, she could still see the flowers growing among the ruins in her grandmother’Islands of Ireland: Barely inhabitated Dinish became an industrial zone

MAC make-up artist Lucy Bridge shares her tips backstage at Roland Mouret.How to create the perfect matte red lip, according to a backstage beauty expert

New trends include chunky heeled boots, silver belts and lots of plaid from the British designer.Victoria Beckham got ‘rebellious’ for her new collection – as David and family watched on

When horses were shown photographs of angry human faces, their hearts speeded up.Jackass penguin talk is similar to humans

More From The Irish Examiner