Macra na Feirme, the organisation representing young farmers, has called for the introduction of a Capital Allowance System for young farmers.

In its Pre-Budget Submission, the young farmer group has called for the Government to install a system similar to the one currently operating in the UK in its October Budget.

This system will allow young farmers to write off larger amounts of capital expenditure in the first year of investment against income tax.

According to Macra, the future of farming relies on young farmers who need necessary resources and supports to develop their farm businesses.

And to ensure that these resources are provided, the organisation has called for increased supports for inter-generational renewal, access to credit, land mobility, education and measures to tackle income volatility in its Pre-Budget Submission.

Macra na Feirme President, Sean Finan said Macra’s Pre Budget Submission focuses on strengthening the future for young farmers and rural youth.

“Our proposals set out the building block that need to be put in place in the budget to create an environment within which young farmers can establish themselves in the industry and have a successful career.

Our document sets out various taxation changes and measures as well as other proposals dealing with volatility, access to finance, access to education and farm safety.

“As a representative body for rural young people we are calling for an increase in our youth sector funding as well as highlight other rural youth issues,” he said.

Main proposals from Macra’s Pre-Budget Submission:

  • The extension of Young Farmer Stamp Duty Relief on land purchases up to 40 years of age
  • An increase in the Capital Acquisition Tax threshold to reflect increasing property values
  • Greater flexibility in the implementation of the 100% Young Farmer Stock Relief
  • An extension of the Land Leasing Tax Incentive to include parent and children leasing for one term of seven years
  • Aid to cover the cost of replacement labour during maternity leave
  • The introduction of a fund to encourage young farmers to engage in better grass utilisation
  • A measure to encourage farmers to put away some income in a good year and have access to this money in a tax efficient manor in a year of poor returns
  • Macra is seeking the introduction of funding from the European Investment Bank which is available to Member States to access through the Rural Development Program.
  • Further support for agricultural education, advisory and research
  • Financial resources to provide youth mental health services in rural areas
  • The provision of quality high speed broadband to all  rural areas
  • Investment in youth work through the Youth Services Grant Scheme