IFA PRE-BUDGET SUBMISSION HIGHLIGHTS POTENTIAL OF SECTOR FOR GROWTH

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IFA PRE-BUDGET SUBMISSION HIGHLIGHTS POTENTIAL OF SECTOR FOR GROWTH
24 Oct 2012

IFA PRE-BUDGET SUBMISSION HIGHLIGHTS POTENTIAL OF SECTOR FOR GROWTH

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Launching the Association’s pre-budget submission <b><i>Support for Agriculture Critical to Underpin Growth</i></b>in Dublin this afternoon (Wed), IFA President John Bryan said that continued investment in agriculture will deliver economic growth, increased exports and jobs.

John Bryan said, “Farming is experiencing a very difficult year in 2012, through a combination of dreadful weather, soaring input costs and the impact of previous substantial cuts to farm schemes. In Budget 2012, funding for farm schemes was significantly reduced, with a cut in funding for the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme and a 10% cut in funding for REPS”.

He said, “IFA believes that the maintenance of funding for farm schemes must be prioritised in the Agriculture Budget 2013. In addition, it is important that existing taxation measures that support restructuring, farm investment, consolidation and land mobility are retained”.

The IFA President said the growth in agriculture and agri-food in 2010 and 2011 demonstrates the ability of the sector to respond positively to market signals and contribute to economic recovery through increased earnings and job creation. “There remains huge potential for the sector to continue this growth and to capture the opportunities presented by a growing global population and increasing demand for sustainably-produced food. However, the maintenance of farm schemes and a supportive taxation system remain critical to underpin stability and growth in the sector.”

Given the difficulties for the sector this year, and the disproportionate cuts that have already been imposed, IFA believes that funding for farm schemes must be prioritised in the next Budget. Any further cuts would clearly be discriminatory. Therefore, full funding is required for REPS and AEOS, with retention of funding for the Disadvantaged Area Scheme (DAS), the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme, Forestry and the Targeted Agricultural Measures (TAMS).

Mr Bryan said that the sector has ambitious plans to grow production over the coming years, which will require significant investment on farms and in processing facilities. The Association’s proposals for a tax incentive to encourage investment in the necessary processing facilities, must also be considered by the Government to help deliver on the <i>Food Harvest 2020</i> targets.

Key proposals on taxation in the IFA Pre-Budget submission are:

<b>Taxation </b>
<span>-<span>          </span></span>Retention of Agricultural Relief 90% rate for farm transfers;
<span>-<span>          </span></span>Renewal of Stamp Duty Relief and Stock Relief;
<span>-<span>          </span></span>Relief from Capital Gains Tax for disposals for the purpose of farm consolidation;
<span>-<span>          </span></span>Extension of 50% stock relief to registered farm partnerships; and
<span>-<span>          </span></span>Scope of the proposed property tax must remain residential only.

Mr Bryan concluded, “The growth in output at farm level and in food exports in 2012 demonstrates the potential of the sector to meet the ambitious targets set out in <i>Food Harvest 2020. </i>A cut in funding for farm schemes or reduction in supportive taxation measures will undermine this growth potential.”

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