Dáil Éireann - Volume 473 - 22 January, 1997
Written Answers. - Young Farmer Incentives.
Cecilia Keaveney Cecilia Keaveney
570. Cecilia Keaveney asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry the incentives, if any, that are currently available to encourage young farmers to enter the profession and encourage the early transfer of land; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1673/97]
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry (Mr. Yates) Ivan Yates
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry (Mr. Yates): My Department currently operates two schemes which are co-financed by the European Commission, and are specifically intended to encourage the earlier transfer of land from existing landholders to young farmers.
Under the scheme of early retirement from farming older farmers are encouraged to transfer their lands to younger farmers with suitable qualifications. The aim is to increase the viability of the younger farmers' holdings as well as facilitating the entry of younger farmers into farming.
Young farmers, under the age of 35 who set up as full-time farmers for the first time, may apply for the scheme of installation aid for young farmers. This scheme requires that the applicant have a minimum standard of education and be farming in such a way as to require a minimum of one man work unit within two years of setting up.
There are a number of taxation measures in place to encourage early transfer of land. Under the 1994 Finance Act the stamp duty payable on the purchase or gift of farmland for young trained farmers was reduced by two-thirds. In recognition of the importance of this measure, the Government agreed, in the context of Partnership 2000, to consider extending this tax concession for a further period of time. In addition to the stamp duty exemption young farmers are benefiting from very favourable tax exemption limits for long-term leasing of land. The 1996 Finance Act increased the limit for leased income to £4,000 for leases of five to six years and £6,000 for leases of seven years or over. These has also been significant improvements in the Capital Acquisition Tax code that should act as an incentive to early transfer. Under the 1996 Finance Act, a flat rate relief of 75 per cent applies to transfers by way of gift or inheritance taken on or after January 1996.
I believe that these measures are making an important contribution to necessary structural change within the farming sector.
Dáil Éireann 473 Written Answers. Young Farmer Incentives.