Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue has proposed to extend consanguinity relief, which had been due to expire at the end of the year, for a further three years to the end of 2023.

The relief applies to the transfer of farmland between certain blood relatives whereby the applicable rate of stamp duty is reduced from 7.5% to 1%.

Macra na Feirme president Thomas Duffy welcomed the Minister's proposal, as consanguinity relief was a core aspect of Macra's pre-budget submission.

“Minister Donoghue has made an important move in the commitment to young farmers, these reliefs are essential,” Duffy said.

Road ahead

Duffy added that the decision to extend consanguinity relief is particularly important due to the limitations on state aid rules by the EU.

The young farmer organisation also suggests that the extension will help to tackle land fragmentation particularly in the border, midlands and western region.

Duffy continued: “Macra fought hard for the extension of these reliefs for young farmers. We compliment the efforts of the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Finance in continuing these essential reliefs for young farmers.

“Minister Donohue referenced the road ahead during his speech, the road ahead for young farmers is considerably challenging and these reliefs act as an aid to entry, lessening the financial burden to those starting their farming career.”

Department funding

The Department of Agriculture is to receive an extra €179m in funding, providing money for a Food Ombudsman, agri-environmental schemes and supports for food exports in the face of Brexit.

“We look forward to engaging with the Department on ambitious new environmental schemes that will deliver for young farmers and those in difficult areas to farm,” Duffy added.

Macra has called for an innovative approach such as results-based schemes to the next generation of agri-environmental measures to be trialed under the transitional period of the Common Agricultural Policy.

Agricultural colleges

Macra has called on Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath to ensure that funding is made available for agricultural college students.

Duffy continued: “Earlier this summer, Minister Simon Harris allocated €18m of similar funding which excluded students studying in Ireland’s agricultural colleges.

“We are appealing to the Government to ensure that these students are not excluded from accessing this supportive funding. Do not discriminate agricultural college students and do not make them second class students.”

Read more

Budget 2021: everything farmers need to know

Budget 2021 webinar offers expert analysis