Lukewarm reaction by farmers to Budget 2018
There has been a diverse range of reactions by farm organisations the Paschal Donohue’s announcement of Budget 2018.
IFA President Joe Healy said today’s Budget announcements of increased funding of €25m for low-income farmers through the Areas of National Constraint (ANC) and a low-interest loan package for farmers, provide some recognition of the market and income difficulties facing farming enterprises in 2017.
“The increased funding of €25m announced for the ANC reverses some of the cuts imposed on the lowest income farmers in previous budgets.
“This must be the first step in the full restoration of ANC payments, which were cut by €50m in Budget 2009”.
However, he said the failure of the Government to increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to match the PAYE credit, as committed to in the Programme for Government, maintains the inequity in the income tax system between employees and the self-employed and impacts disproportionately on lower income farmers.
Joe Healy said that the €200 increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit does not go far enough.
“The Government has chosen to continue the discrimination between employees and self-employed in the income tax system for yet another year. It is simply not right that a farmer earning €16,500 will be paying €500 a year more in income tax than an employee next year.
“The Government has reneged on a clear commitment in the Programme for Government that the PAYE and Earned Income Tax Credits would reach parity, of €1,650, by 2018”.