Budget 2019: Department of Agriculture allocated extra €57 million

In his announcement of Budget 2019, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has revealed a number of changes for Irish agriculture, and has allocated an extra €57 million to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Speaking before the Dail earlier today (Tuesday, October 9), Minister Donohoe announced an extension to the Young Trained Farmer Stamp Duty Relief Scheme for a further three years, while also broadening criteria under income averaging to include farmers with off-farm income.

Stock relief measures have been extended for an additional three years.

Brexit also featured prominently, with €60 million provided in Brexit-related supports for the sector.

“To support the sector, and in particular disadvantaged farmers, I’m allocating an additional €57 million in current expenditure to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in 2019,” the minister said.

€60 million in current and capital Brexit-related supports will be provided to improve resilience in the farming sector, along with supports in productivity improvements in the food sector.

“As well as making provisions for the initial staffing and ICT needs in relation to the regulatory requirements for Brexit, agencies will be allocated additional resources to promote new markets; to retain competitiveness.

“And I’m also doing this because I recognise that 2018 was a very difficult year for our farming community. With that in mind I’m renewing the existing stock relief measures for a further three years.

“To help support more farmers to cope with the problems of income volatility, I’m extending income averaging to farms with off-farm farming income.

I also intend to provide for a three-year extension of the young trained farmer stamp duty relief which was due to expire at the end of this year.

Rural development

Minister Donohoe also announced extra funding for the Department of Rural and Community Development, allocating an additional €53 million in capital next year to fund the first round of projects under the new rural regeneration and development fund.

“This represents an unprecedented commitment by this Government to strengthen our rural economies and communities,” the minister said.