Kieran O'DowdMacra National President, Kieran O’Dowd, has welcomed measures in budget 2015 that encourage better access to land for young farmers. Macra, in it’s pre-budget submission sought supports for better access to land, long-term leasing and the disincentivisation of conacre.

Mr. O’Dowd said, “A 50% increase in the tax free thresholds for long term leases of 5 (18,750) 7 (22,500) and 10 years (30,000) and the introduction of a new 15 year lease tax free threshold of €40,000 for lessors of any age will help increase the level of land on long term leases. Currently only 6,250 leases claim the current tax relief where as, nearly 40,000 rental arrangement are on a conacre or yearly basis. This is not a sustainable basis for young farmers to establish and grow their business. Minster Coveney is following through with practical taxation measures to encourage greater land mobility”.

The targeting of the 90% Agriculture Relief to young active farmers or those who lease out land on a long term basis was also welcomed. Macra proposed such measures in its submission to the Agri tax submission.

“Access to land and the use of land are structural issues that prove a constraint on increasing output. Short term land rental (conacre) is causing a major barrier for the progression of Irish farming, therefore incentives that encourage long term leases will favour the active use of the land and support active young farmers to grow their farm business.