Kildare North TD, Anthony Lawlor, welcomes the many incentives announced in Budget 2012 which will give a boost to the agricultural sector in Ireland.

“Since my election, I have regularly spoken with Minister Simon Coveney about measures to revitalise the farming sector in Ireland. Coming from a farming background myself, I recognise that in order to get Ireland back on track economically, emphasis must be placed on one of our greatest assets, our agricultural sector.

“Incentives have been introduced in this Budget which will allow many people, particularly those who are unemployed, to work on farms or to take over the family farming business. The restructuring of the retirement relief on Capital Gains Tax to incentivise the earlier transfer of farm assets to the next generation will greatly aid this. As will the new exemption rate for the Universal Social Charge being raised from €4,004 to €10,036. This will be of particular benefit to low-paid seasonal workers in the farming sector.

“Budget 2012 will allow for a stagnant land market to once again become viable, particularly by reducing the stamp duty on agricultural land from 6% to 2%. The lower VAT rate applied to open farms of 9% rather than the new standard rate of 23% will be of immense benefit to the sector. Furthermore I was delighted to learn that consistent with the commitment in the Programme for Government on carbon tax, farmers will be allowed a double income tax deduction in respect of the increased costs arising from the change in carbon tax (the carbon tax is to increase from €15 per tonne to €20 per tonne).

“I am delighted that Budget 2012 has taken on board the suggestions which I, and many of my colleagues, have made on behalf of the IFA and the general farming community. The measures introduced in the Budget will allow for a new dynamic, professionally trained cohort of farmers to revitalise and transform the farming industry. Currently our agricultural colleges are full with people looking at farming at a viable way of life. These incentives will not only revitalise the agricultural sector but will also create jobs which is a key priority for this Government” concluded Anthony Lawlor TD.