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EXTRA FUNDING FOR SHEEP FARMERS WELCOME RELIEF IN A BUDGET THAT DID LITTLE FOR FARMERS

Oct 13, 2023 | Latest News, Press Releases | 0 comments

ICSA president Dermot Kelleher has welcomed confirmation that €15 million in new funding for the sheep sector has been included in Budget 2024 but said it is clear agriculture has fared badly overall. 

Mr Kelleher said, “Over the last twelve months ICSA has left Minister McConalogue in no doubt that a payment of €12 per ewe under the Sheep Improvement Scheme (SIS) was an insult. We welcome the increased funding for the sector which will facilitate a payment of €20 per ewe. However, while the increase is welcome it does not go far enough and ICSA will continue to campaign for higher payments for sheep farmers. Sheep farmers have been overlooked for too long.” 

Mr Kelleher said that while we await further detail on the beef scheme and on how a €200 payment per suckler cow can be achieved, neither will amount to more than doing the bare minimum possible. “Budget 2024 provided an opportunity for the government to address the imbalance in farm incomes across the sectors. Our suckler, beef and sheep farmers are the lowest income earners per hectare by far. This budget however will do little to address that imbalance.” 

“The changes to the TAMS ceilings to allow for more slurry storage is a welcome measure and we look forward to engaging with the Department on the details.”  

“ICSA is concerned that the Government seems to have abandoned the prospect of using the Brexit Adjustment Reserve or getting an extension to it as it is not included in Department estimates for 2024 but we believe it is still not too late to negotiate an extension with the EU Commission.” 

Mr Kelleher said some positives included in the budget are: 

  • The deferral of the date landowners will be liable under the Residential Zoned Land Tax will be extended by a year beyond 2024. 
  • Consanguinity relief, which supports the transfer of farms from one generation to the next, being extended for a period of five years. 
  • The extension of the accelerated capital allowances for farm safety equipment.  
  • The increase in the maximum aggregate lifetime limit of a number of farm-related reliefs to €100,000. 
  • The maximum amount of enhanced stock relief for farmers who are partners in a Registered Farm Partnership will be increased from €15,000 to €20,000 in line with EU regulations. 
  • The Land Leasing Income Tax Relief will be amended so that it only becomes available when the land has been owned for seven years so that it is better targeted to active farmers. 
  • The accelerated capital allowances scheme for energy efficient equipment is being extended for a further two years. 
  • The tax disregard in respect of personal income received by households who sell residual electricity from micro-generation back to the national grid is being doubled. 

ENDS

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