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Macra na Feirme says ‘Budget 2018 is an inch deep and a mile wide’

10 October 2017

Rural Youth Organisation gives a lukewarm welcome to Budget 2018

Macra na Feirme National President James Healy has given a lukewarm welcome to Budget 2018 saying the budget offers, ‘something for everyone but it didn’t go far enough for our young farmer base.’ He continued, ‘In many ways Budget 2018 is an inch deep and a mile wide.’

The organisation welcomes the Brexit Loan Scheme, President Healy remarked, ‘Access to funding is a struggle for young agri entrepreneurs, we welcome the €300 million announced for the Brexit Loan Scheme. Young farmers must be a strategic priority within this allocation. 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.’

President James Healy expressed his disappointment that the Minister for Finance made no effort to tackle the issues of income volatility for farmers saying, ‘No other industry could survive the income peak-to-trough experienced by farmers. 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 €19 million 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.

President James Healy concluded, ‘This was a failed attempt at a Late Late Show style budget where the government wanted to ensure there was something for everybody in the audience. But what the Minister for Finance has introduced doesn’t go far enough.’