Budget 2019: ‘Positive developments’ for young farmers

“While Budget 2019 is very much a budget that exemplifies thinking within the box, there are some positive developments for young farmers.”

This is according to Macra na Feirme’s national president James Healy, who has today welcomed the budget announcements.

Healy said: “With the challenges of Brexit very much at the forefront of our minds, the additional €60 million for Brexit-related supports to improve resilience in the farm sector is very much needed and welcomed.”

He continued: “It was essential that the 90% agricultural relief on Capital Acquisitions Tax was retained – along with the €10,000 increase in the Category A threshold. However, a much larger increase must follow next year in order to bring us closer to pre-recession levels.”

The Macra president has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to “ring fence” a percentage of the Brexit funding specifically for young farmers.

He outlined that the youth services grant within the Department for Children and Youth Affairs suffered a 35% cut during the financial crisis, but he acknowledged that “it appears Minister Zappone secured a €1.5 million increase in this vital funding for national youth organisations”.

He said: “While this increase is welcome, we are a long way from restoring the 35% lost and from meeting the increased cost of legal and governance compliance.”

Healy concluded: “Budget 2019 is a very pragmatic budget, while providing an element of benefit for all.”