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Monday 10 December 2018

10 key Budget announcements that every farmer should know about

Paschal Donohoe pictured with Budget 2019 (Photo: Gerry Mooney)
Paschal Donohoe pictured with Budget 2019 (Photo: Gerry Mooney)
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has just announced some important measures for agriculture in 2019. The FarmIreland Team have put together a list of the key announcements.

1. Suckler Cow Payment

The €20m Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot Scheme (BEEPS) will add to the existing €300m BDGP/Genomics beef sector supports.

Up to a maximum of 500,000 cows and it's understood farmers will be paid based on income forgone. It's also understood that the weighing of calves will be part of the scheme.

2. €60m for Brexit protection

€60 million in current and capital Brexit related supports will be provided to improve resilience in the farm sector, as along with supporting productivity improvements in the food sector

3. Restoration of the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) payments

The Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme formerly the Disadvantaged Area Scheme will be restored pre-crash budget level of €250m. Payments will be further targeted at the most marginal lands.

4. Funding for TAMS

Some €70m has been allocated for TAMS (Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme) for 2019.

Provide co-funding for a range of on-farm investment under the RDP funded Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme and funding for the Horticulture Development Scheme.

5. Income averaging for off farm income

Income averaging option for farmers has been extended to include farm families with an off-farm trading.

Income averaging allows eligible farmers to calculate their taxable income as the average of their income in the current year and the previous four years, on a rolling basis, thus smoothing their tax liability over a 5 year cycle.

The measure will cost the State - €2.5 per annum

6. Stock relief (extended for 3yrs until end 2021)

Stock relief is a long-standing farming tax relief that encourages investment in improving stock quality and thus output. There are three separate measures:

•             the 25% General Stock Relief on Income Tax;

•             the 50% Stock Relief on Income Tax for Registered Farm Partnerships; and

•             the 100% Stock Relief on Income Tax for Certain Young Trained Farmers (YTF).

7. Stamp Duty Relief for young trained farmers extended

An exemption from stamp duty has been extended where farm land is sold or transferred to ‘young trained farmers’.

These are farmers who are under 35 years of age and have (or will have within a specified period following the receipt of the farm land) specified relevant educational qualifications (known as the ‘green cert’).

8. Income tax changes

Workers will not now pay the higher rate of income tax until they earn €35,500.

Combined with USC changes, the top marginal rate on incomes up to €70,000 will be reduced to 48.5pc.

Some 150,000 self-employed workers will gain as the earned income credit will be increased by €200 to €1,350

9. More money for forestry

€103.5 million for improvements in grant and premium rates for planting forests.

10. Department of Ag is to get an extra €57m in 2019

Compared to the 2018 allocation, an additional €57m in current expenditure and an extra €7 million in capital expenditure is being allocated to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in 2019.

The additional funding allocated by the Government in its 2019 Budget and Estimates decisions provides for new and expanded measures to be implemented by the Department.

This includes a comprehensive package to deal with the emerging challenges arising from Brexit.

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