Macra has called on Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to expand agricultural tax reliefs as part of its submission ahead of Budget 2024.

In a meeting with the Minister on Wednesday, Macra president Elaine Houlihan argued that capital acquisition tax thresholds should increase by 20% and that the ceiling for State aid tax reliefs for young farmers should be increased from €70,000 to €140,000.

The cut off for such reliefs should increase from 35 to 40 years of age, she added.

Lease relief

Houlihan sought €1.425m for the Land Mobility Service and tax reliefs for farmland lease agreements between family members, with a €9,000/annum relief afforded to young, trained farmers for five years, up to the age of 30.

Macra also called for a pilot of its farm succession scheme to be rolled out, which proposes that farmers be paid €484/week to retire.

VAT cuts featured in Macra’s pre-budget submission, with a case made for sexed semen, all farm safety equipment, forage analysis tests and faecal egg counts to be made VAT-free.

On sexed semen and faecal counts, Macra said there should be increased investment in laboratory capacity to meet farmer demand.

Houlihan sought Minister McConalogue’s support for an ‘income stabilisation’ service for farmers. This voluntary initiative would allow farmers to deposit a defined percentage of profits to a fund during a good year and withdraw funds during poor years, with withdrawals subject to income tax.

The Macra president highlighted the need for Government investment in mental health supports for farmers, seeking unspecified funding for the organisation’s ‘Farmers Matter – Making the Moove’ programme.

Houlihan again pushed Minister McConalogue on his long-promised supports for farmers, seeking “dedicated financial support” in October’s budget.

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