‘Budget 2018 is an inch deep and a mile wide’

Budget 2018 was met with a lukewarm response from the national president of Macra na Feirme James Healy.

He underlined that the budget offers “something for everyone, but it didn’t go far enough for our young farmer base”.

The president noted: “In many ways Budget 2018 is an inch deep and a mile wide.”

The organisation welcomed the Brexit Loan Scheme, with Healy commenting: “Access to funding is a struggle for young agri entrepreneurs – we welcome the €300 million announced for the Brexit Loan Scheme.

“Young farmers must be a strategic priority within this allocation.”

Healy spoke to AgriLand shortly after the budget announcement, giving his views in more detail.


The National President of Macra an Feirme, James Healy, gives his reaction to the measures announced in Budget 2018

Posted by Agriland on Tuesday, October 10, 2017

“The Minister for Finance specifically mentioned the intergenerational shift in farm ownership and management in his budget speech and, with this in mind, Macra na Feirme calls on Irish banks to prioritise young farmer access to this line of credit,” the president stressed afterwards.

The maintenance of young farmer stamp duty relief for inter-family transfer is important in the context of a rising stamp duty on commercial property. This young farmer relief supports intergenerational renewal.

Healy also later expressed his disappointment that the Minister for Finance made no effort to tackle the issues of income volatility for farmers.

He said: “No other industry could survive the income peak-to-trough experienced by farmers. Macra na Feirme had proposed measures through the taxation code to assist farmers in managing volatility. This was a missed opportunity by the minister.”


The National President of Macra na Feirme James Healy gives his reaction to Budget 2018

Posted by Agriland on Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Macra na Feirme is also calling for the additional €19 million allocated to rural affairs to be ring-fenced to support the implementation of the Action Plan for Rural Ireland, to ensure vibrant and dynamic rural areas which will create economic opportunities for rural youth.

Healy concluded, saying: “This was a failed attempt at a ‘Late Late Show’ style budget where the government wanted to ensure that there was something for everybody in the audience.

“But what the Minister for Finance has introduced doesn’t go far enough.”