National Reserve entitlements opening for 6,417

Landowners forced to transfer single payment entitlements permanently this year can apply in 2015 for National Reserve entitlements.

An estimated 6,417, who had leased out payment entitlements, faced losing them , unless they were transferred permanently by sale or gift before May 15, 2014.

This was due to many 100% lessor landowners not having an automatic ‘allocation right’ to the Basic Payment Scheme in 2015. Most of them were no longer active farmers, including Early Retirement Scheme members who ceased farming.

The Department of Agriculture advised them the value of their leased entitlements would be lost, unless they were transferred permanently to a person who held an allocation right, ideally the existing lessee.

However, the farmers faced 33% capital gains tax exposure on the transfers — until Finance Minister Michael Noonan intervened in early May with a capital gains tax exemption.

Now, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has said a farmer in this situation may apply for a 2015 National Reserve force majeure category. Application forms for this will be available in 2015.

He was responding in the Dáil to a question from Longford-Westmeath Labour TD Willie Penrose, about a constituent who resumed farming after health difficulties. He leased out his entitlements for 2012 and 2013, and therefore did not establish rights to the Basic Payment Scheme in 2015, and sold his entitlement in 2014, as advised.


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