Lukewarm reception from Macra to Budget 2018

Macra President, James Healy says young farmers must be given strategic priority in Budget 2018 allocation

Aisling Kiernan

Reporter:

Aisling Kiernan

Email:

aisling.kiernan@longfordleader.ie

Macra na Feirme

James Healy

While Budget 2018 offered something for everyone, it did not go far enough for young farmers, Macra na Feirme national president, James Healy said.

Welcoming the introduction of a Brexit Loan Scheme, Mr Healy said that access to funding was a struggle for young agri-entrepreneurs and the €300m announced for the Brexit Loan Scheme was welcome.

“Young farmers must be a strategic priority within this allocation,” he added.

“The Minister for Finance specifically mentioned the intergenerational shift in farm ownership and management in his Budget speech and with this in mind, Macra na Feirme calls on Irish banks to prioritise young farmer access to this line of credit.

“The maintenance of young farmer stamp duty relief for inter-family transfer is important in the context of a rising stamp duty on commercial property.

“This young farmer relief supports intergenerational renewal.”

Macra’s president also went on to express his disappointment over what he described as “no effort made by government” to tackle the issues of income volatility for farmers.

"No other industry could survive the income peak-to-trough experienced by farmers,” said Mr Healy.

“Macra na Feirme had proposed measures through the taxation code to assist farmers in managing volatility.

This was a missed opportunity by the Minister."

Macra na Feirme is also calling for the additional €19m allocated to Rural Affairs to be ring-fenced to support the implementation of the action plan for rural Ireland to ensure vibrant and dynamic rural areas which will create economic opportunities for rural youth.

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