The Government has been advised to introduce measures to significantly alter relative attractiveness of conacre in a report commissioned by the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

The report which examined the effectiveness of agri-taxation said that in addition to the specific measures proposed to enhance the relative attractiveness of leasing we believe that there would be merit in the Government considering additional measures to significantly alter the relative attractiveness of conacre vis-a-vis long-term leases.

Authors of the report Indecon said this should be a priority area for examination by the proposed agri-taxation Implementation Group. It may necessitate a range of measures including taxation of conacre.

For example, during the consultation process one submission noted the following: “It is estimated that approx. 40,000 farmers rent land on conacre annually. This is approximately one third of Irish farmers. Conacre is the worst use of land for all concerned – the farmer won’t improve the land as they have to exit in eleven months, while the owner will see the land value deteriorate year on year.

“More stable collaboration (long-term leases, partnerships and share farming arrangements) deliver greater value. The tax review must seriously consider dis-incentivising conacre to make the alternatives more attractive. Young and progressive farmers are willing to invest and grow their farms, but this cannot happen on the back of conacre.”