CAPITAL taxes and reliefs are top of the agenda for young farmers with Macra calling for the introduction of a capital allowance system similar to the UK where farmers can write off larger amounts of capital expenditure in the first year against income tax.
In its pre-Budget submission to Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, Macra points out that the future of farming relies on young farmers who need the necessary resources and supports to develop their farm business and fulfill the expectations of Food Wise 2025. Supporting generational renewal, driving competitiveness, access to credit, land mobility, supporting education, advisory and research, tackling income volatility and supports for both rural youth and youth development work are all contained in Macra’s submission.
The main points include:
· The extension of young farmer stamp duty relief on purchases of land up to 40 years of age and the increase in the Capital Acquisition Tax threshold that farmers can receive as gift or inheritance.
· For income tax relief, Macra are seeking greater flexibility in the implementation of the 100% young farmer stock relief and an extension of the land leasing tax incentive
·To help support female farmers, the introduction of aid to cover the cost of replacement labour during maternity leave.
· To aid competitiveness, the introduction of a fund to encourage young farmers to engage in better grass utilisation and support for grazing infrastructure under the TAMS scheme.
·A measure to encourage farmers to put away some income in a good year and have access to this money in a tax-efficient manor in a year of poor returns, as volatility is one of the biggest issues facing all farmers.
· The introduction of funding from the European Investment Bank to member states to access through the Rural Development Programme.
· Further support agricultural education, advisory and research which are essential support mechanisms.
· Adequate financial resources for the provision of youth mental health services per the report by the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Area plus provision of quality high-speed broadband to all rural areas.
·An increase in the investment in youth work through the Youth Services Grant Scheme is essential for Macra to provide services to help train and develop rural youth in leadership and personal development.
Macra na Feirme’s national president Sean Finan said: ‘Our pre-Budget submission focuses on strengthening the future for young farmers and rural youth.’