Speaking following the publication of Budget 2016, the President of ICMSA, Mr. John Comer, said that the most significant development from a farming perspective is the introduction of an Earned Income Credit of €550 per annum which he described as a historic first step in the process of removing the blatant discrimination against self employed people that has existed for decades and he said it was essential that this is increased to the same level of the PAYE tax credit in future budgets as Minister Noonan seemed to indicate. Mr Comer said that this measure would mean that the discrimination against farm families will fall from €1,650 per annum to €1,100 per annum and this is certainly represented progress on a very blatant injustice.
On other aspects of the Budget, Mr. Comer welcomed the extension of the various Stock Relief Measures and the Stamp Duty Relief for Young Farmers to December 2018 and also the increase in the Group A Capital Acquisitions Tax rate to €280,000 which will be of assistance to some farm families. In relation to the Farm Succession proposal, ICMSA welcomes the Government’s recognition of the issue but is concerned regarding the possible over-complexity of the scheme. However, Mr. Comer committed ICMSA to engaging constructively with the Department and ensuring that a positive and workable scheme is introduced for the farm families concerned.
The only regret from a farming perspective, Mr. Comer noted, was the absence of any measure in relation to addressing the kind of destructive farm income volatility that was wreaking such havoc in the sector currently. The ICMSA President said this issue is the single biggest challenge facing farmers and, as late as last week, ICMSA met with the EU Commission to advocate the Association’s Farm Management Deposit Scheme which was specifically designed to deal with just this problem. Mr Comer said he was confident that progress could be made on this matter and he said that ICMSA would lobby hard for the Government to move forward on this badly required measure in future Budgets, concluded Mr. Comer.
Ends 13 October 2015.
John Comer, 087-2057846
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office