Budget 2015 appears to have boosted agriculture with measures introduced to protect farm incomes and support growth within the sector.
Local TD, Deputy James Bannon (FG) pointed to the importance of the sector and the need for this year’s Budget to provide stability.
“Farming is a vital sector within Ireland’s economy,” he added. “Hundreds of families in the midlands depend on farming for their financial security. The growth focused measurers in this budget will help generate wealth and increase rural employment.”
Deputy Bannon went on to say that in line with projections of a 50% increase in milk output, arising from the abolition of quotas in 2015, the additional €10m provided under the Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme in support of dairy farm modernisation was “satisfactory”.
“The government is keen to support this growth and grants provided under this measure will enable dairy farmers scale up their operations in order to meet the increased quotas,” he said.
“I also welcomed the provision of €10m for a new support programme for suckler beef farmers. This will provide a significant boost to a sector which has come on massively in recent years. I believe that this funding will further improve the quality of animals produced from the suckler herd.”
Meanwhile, ICSA president Patrick Kent said the measures would encourage long-term leasing and support land mobility to progressive farmers. He did add, however that the agri-taxation review had not gone far enough to support collaborative farming arrangements.
“The 50% increase in income tax exemption for long-term leases and greater flexibility is a positive move, as is extending the relief to farmers under 40 years old,” said Mr Kent. “However more needs to be done to incentivise farm partnerships. The taxation incentives outlined here are geared towards leaving farming and leasing out to unconnected third parties.”