IFA Reaction to Budget 2011

Reacting to Budget 2011, IFA President John Bryan said the changes to the tax and PRSI regime will impact negatively on every household in the country, and will be particularly harsh on low-income families, many of whom are in the farming sector.

Mr Bryan said the Budget recognised the vital role that farming, forestry and the wider agri-food sector plays in driving exports and maintaining jobs, which are critical to assist in economic recovery.

He said “The farm schemes – especially Disadvantaged Areas, REPS, Suckler Cow Welfare and forestry – are vital in maintaining low-income family farms across rural Ireland. The decision to keep them in place and to provide for a new AEOS scheme, for the 10,000 farmers leaving REPS3 in 2011, is very important and welcome.”

Mr Bryan said that the continuation of incentives, including stock relief and capital allowances, was critical to facilitate the expansion of the sector. However, the 20% reduction in the Capital Acquisition Tax threshold is very severe and will have a negative impact on farm transfers.

The increase in excise duty on fuel will have a hugely damaging effect on the agri-food, export led sector. The Government will have to revisit their proposals on carbon tax in light of these increases.

The Government’s decision to bring forward the final payment under the Farm Waste Management Scheme will provide a much-needed cashflow boost to those badly affected by the delay.

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