Farmers given assurances on land transfer taxes
FARMERS were given a strong signal yesterday that they will be able to pass their land to their sons and daughters without being hit by punitive taxes.
The issue of increasing taxes on the handover of family farms was a key concern at the Irish Farmers' Association's individual meetings with Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, Labour leader Eamon Gilmore and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin in Dublin yesterday.
IFA president John Bryan said all party leaders had indicted that they were not likely to implement recommendations of the Commission on Taxation to raise taxes on farm transfers.
"They were well aware you need mobility in land and that they wouldn't do anything to impede that. But absolutely nothing is guaranteed," he said.
As expected, all the party leaders also pledged to campaign in Europe for the €1.3bn Single Farm Payment given to farmers, which is soon up for renegotiation.
And they also said the would strongly oppose any EU trade deal with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay which would allow the importation of cheap beef. The IFA warned that such a deal would "devastate" the beef sector here.
But the party leaders made no election promises to 13,000 small farmers who are in the final year of the REPS environmental grants scheme which pays them €6,300 annually.
The party leaders again said they would have to examine the budgetary situation before committing to fund the expansion of the €50m Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS).