‘Stamp duty increase won’t hit farmers’ – Creed

The increase in commercial stamp duty from 2% to 6% announced in Budget 2018 will not affect agricultural land, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has stated.

While announcing a major suite of budget measures designed to help farmers, fishermen and food SME’s navigate Brexit, and advance growth objectives of Food Wise 2025, the minister was quick to dismiss claims that a 4% increase in the stamp duty on non-residential property will hit farmers.

“We need to nail this one, because I’ve seen some commentary on social media. The increase in stamp duty does not apply to agricultural land,” he said.

Speaking at a post budget press conference at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, minister Creed said challenges arising from Brexit were to the forefront of considerations when framing Budget 2018.

The package includes: a €300 million Brexit loan scheme – with a minimum of 40% to be made available to food businesses; €25 million to provide for the development of further Brexit response loan schemes for farmers, fishermen and food businesses in 2018; funding for additional market promotion; a national food innovation hub; competitiveness grant aid; and prepared consumer food sector development.

A €25 million increase in funding for the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) scheme and an allocation of €626 million for the Rural Development Programme (RDP) schemes – including a 40% increase in TAMS investment support was also announced.

‘Challenging and uncertain times’

Commenting on the budget announcement, minister Creed said: “While these are challenging and uncertain times for the agri-food sector, the government is determined to support our farm, fisheries and food enterprises to assist them to manage these difficulties and keep to the growth path agreed in Food Wise 2025.

“The provision of support for vulnerable farmers, fishermen and for investment, innovation and market development in a food sector challenged by the uncertainty surrounding Brexit is a key feature of this year’s budget.

The funding announced today will allow us to build on the work we have already done and to encourage the continued growth in our food exports, which grew by 13% in the first half of 2017.

Detailing the measures for farmers, minister Creed said: “I am very pleased to confirm that the Programme for Partnership Government commitment to increase the ANC scheme allocation for 2018 will be met.

“This €25 million increase will provide direct financial support to farmers in the most marginal areas of the country.

“In total €626 million is to be invested in the rural economy – direct to farmers – through the RDP schemes, with increases in funding being made available to ANC’s (€25 million) and the Targeted Agriculture Measures Scheme (TAMS) (€20 million) specifically.”