IFA has launched a submission calling for a number of direct and positive supports for farmers and agriculture in Budget 2018.
Delivery on these proposals will contribute to tackling low farm incomes, underpinning the contribution of the farming and agri-food sector to the economy, including the Foodwise 2025 targets, and supporting economic activity in rural communities.
Expenditure priorities for farm enterprises and farm families include:
- Provision of government-supported low-cost loans for farming enterprises, to fund both ongoing working capital requirements and on-farm investment
- Increased funding for the ANCs to reach €225m, commencing the process of restoring ANC payments to 2008 levels
- Increased funding of €25m for the BDGP and a further €5m funding allocated to the Sheep Welfare Scheme, to support the delivery of additional measures
- An increase in funding for the Fair Deal Scheme to remove the discrimination against farming and other small business assets in the means assessment.
The key priorities identified for farm taxation include:
- Income volatility – extension of income averaging where farmer/spouse has additional self-employed income, greater flexibility on ‘step-out’, and provision of a deposit scheme
- Earned Income Tax Credit to be increased to the same level as the PAYE credit
- Retention of consanguinity relief for stamp duty, and extension of relief to all transfers undertaken within Registered Farm Partnership structure
- Farmland under solar panel infrastructure to be classified as a qualifying asset for the purpose of assessment for relief from Capital Acquisitions Tax upon transfer
- Reduction in the VAT rate on animal vaccines as a means to improve herd health.