Offaly Fine Gael TD and member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine said funding from Budget 2018 will ensure the farming community in Offaly is Brexit-proof.
“I am delighted to announce an extra €64 million in funding was secured for the agricultural sector in Budget 2018," Marcella said.
“This will ensure our largest indigenous industry is prioritised and will strengthen the farming sector’s ability to meet the challenges of Brexit," she added.
“The funding will give a helping hand to farmers who need it most and ensure our local rural communities are supported here in Offaly."
“The Government is bringing forward a comprehensive package of Brexit response measures for 2018 amounting to over €50 million, ensuring a fair chance for Irish farmers. The Government will also provide supports for capital investment in the food industry to increase competitiveness, innovation and opportunity, and additional supports for Bord Bia marketing and promotion activities."
“A further €25 million will be provided to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to provide for the development of further Brexit response loan schemes for the agrifood sector," Marcella explained.
“These schemes will be developed in 2018 in cooperation with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland and others and will ensure supports for farmers who need them most."
“Farming families here in Offaly will also welcome the maintaining of stamp duty relief at 1 per cent for inter-family farm transfers for a further three years to facilitate the intergenerational shift in farm ownership."
She went on to say that, “the exemption for young trained farmers from stamp duty on agricultural land transactions continues, giving young farmers in Offaly a fair chance and help for the future."
"I have concerns with the proposed changes in the stamp duty on farmland from 2% to 6% and I have contacted the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD to convey the concerns of local farmers here in Offaly who wish to purchase or transfer land for agricultural use," she insisted.
“Farmers will also welcome proposals to provide for the leasing of agricultural land for solar panels to be classified as qualifying agricultural activity for the purposes of specific Capital Acquisitions Tax and Capital Gains Tax reliefs.
“This initiative, which is subject to the panels covering no more than 50 per cent of the total farm holding, should support diversification, expand the generation of renewable energy and help tackle climate change.
“Providing opportunities for people and communities in all parts of the county to share in economic recovery is a priority of this Government.
"The Department of Rural and Community Development will also see a €19 million funding boost on existing programmes. This amounts to a 12 per cent increase year on year.
“This will help create the conditions for sustainable rural development and provide local level supports to support vibrant and sustainable rural communities here in Offaly.”
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