Budget protects farm incomes and supports growth – Deering.

5th December, 2012

5th December 2012.

Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has said that the 2013 Budget  announcement by Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, has managed to provide extra support for farmers which will enable them to grow their businesses in line with the targets for Harvest 2020 and increased milk quotas.

“In his Budget speech, Minister Noonan emphasised the point that small businesses are the backbone of the economy and that farmers are a vital part of the small business sector. This Government has consistently promoted the agri-food sector and will continue to support farmers. The growth focused measures in this Budget will help generate wealth and increase rural employment.

“In line with projections of a 50% increase in milk output, arising from the abolition of quotas in 2015, Minister Coveney has provided €10 million under TAMS (Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme) in support of dairy farm modernisation. The Government is keen to support this growth and grants provided under this measure will enable dairy farmers scale up their operations in order to meet the increased quotas.

“I welcome the provision of €10 million for a new support programme for suckler beef farmers. This will provide a significant boost to a sector which has come on massively in recent years. I believe that this funding will help further improve the quality of animals produced from the suckler herd.

“The budget contains key taxation measures which will provide direct financial support for the agri-food sector. These include the retention of the general stock relief and 100% stock relief for young trained farmers; the retention of the 100% stamp duty relief on land transfers for young trained farmers and a new farm restructuring initiative to allow consolidation of land parcels. This will help improve the overall efficiency of the combined holdings.

“It is important to note that Minister Coveney’s increase in the overall ceiling for the sector is in stark contrast to Fianna Fáil’s budget submission which, if fully implemented, would have seen €53m spent on agriculture. This would have had serious implications for existing schemes and payments.

“This budget is about fairness, stimulating jobs and supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), including farmers. We are building on the progress made to date in in restoring Ireland’s economic stability. The agri-food sector is to the fore in leading Ireland’s economic recovery and we will continue to support the sector to grow.”