15th October, 2013
The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association has welcomed funding of €23 million for a scheme to improve genetics in the suckler herd, announced as part of today’s Budget measures.
ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin said, “The new Beef Genomics Scheme for the suckler herd is a step in the right direction to underpin the future of the industry. However, the important thing is to build on that going forward, in particular as part of the new CAP in 2015.”
In relation to the other farming sector measures announced today, Mr Gilmartin noted that the extension of the Capital Gains Tax relief scheme addresses an anomaly which previously disincentivised older farmers from leasing their land out on a long term basis for fear of losing the CGT relief.
The ICSA leader welcomed the continuation of the current level of funding for the Disadvantaged Area Scheme and the increase to €15 million in funding for the Grassland Sheep Scheme for 2014. However, he said the lack of an agri-environment scheme for 2014 was very disappointing.
He also noted that the focus of the independent review of farmers’ taxation should be to encourage land mobility and a move away from conacre to long-term leasing, but added that ICSA would be keeping a very close eye on the review to ensure that vital reliefs would not be lost.