STAMP DUTY HIKES – DOES THE GOVERNMENT REALLY CARE ABOUT PEOPLE WHO GET UP EARLY IN THE MORNING?

18 OCTOBER 2017

ICSA president Patrick Kent has said that the draconian hike in stamp duty calls into question the claim by the Taoiseach that he wants to support the people who get up early in the morning. “Farmers who take out long-term loans to buy the field next door or the next generation of farmers who take over farms are the definition of people who work hard and get up early in the morning.”

The trebling of stamp duty from 2% to 6% is a draconian increase which will cost tens of thousands of euros to people who get up early in the morning. Previous government policy was supposed to support the consolidation of fragmented farm holdings and to encourage the orderly transfer of land to the next generation. The stamp duty decision makes a nonsense of this and exposes the Taoiseach to a charge of empty rhetoric.

“While ICSA welcomes the continuation of the exemption from stamp duty for young trained farmers and the fact that the stamp duty does not apply to the consanguinity relief (stamp duty at 1%)  for transfers of land involving farmers up to 67 years of age, the reality is that a stamp duty rate of 6% will cost farmers millions.”

“ICSA is demanding that age limits be abolished permanently for consanguinity relief and that the stamp duty trebling should not apply to agricultural land. Minister Creed knows that this is an incredibly backward step and the Department of Finance have again demonstrated an abject failure to understand how this tax is an own-goal. It will likely reduce the overall take of money because people will be deterred from lifetime transfers or from consolidating holdings. Moreover, those who do buy land will now have much less money available to re-seed, reclaim and generally improve land they have bought with a consequential reduction in VAT and labour taxes.”

“The Taoiseach needs to quickly get to grips with what has happened in this budget and how it has undermined productive, hardworking people. Other examples include the fact that the reduction in USC is considerably less beneficial to workers than the social welfare increase for those on the dole and the fact that the government has pulled back on its commitment to self-employed people in terms of bringing the earned income tax credit into parity with the PAYE tax credit.”

ENDS