Thursday, 13 December 2012

Questions (18)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

18. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the discussions he has had in relation to the decision to abolish stamp duty on land transfers for young farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55957/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I am pleased to inform the deputy that there was no decision to abolish the relief on stamp duty on land transfers for young farmers. This important relief was due to end this year but is once again being extended. The relief plays a vital role in encouraging the timely inter-generational transfer of family farms. Irish and EU agricultural and rural development policies are consistent in providing support and encouragement for the transfer of farms to young farmers.

In recent years we have seen a large increase in the number of young people entering agricultural training courses and we need to encourage the early transfer of land to this generation of skilled farmers. Otherwise the worsening demographic trend within the sector will continue. Young trained farmers are vital to the smart green strategy being promoted by Food Harvest 2020, which recommended upskilling at all levels within the sector. They are the farmers that will drive the planned expansion at farm level and play a vital role in ensuring the achievement of Food Harvest 2020 targets. Given the poor age demographics that exist in the industry there is a need to maximise incentives to encourage more highly trained young people to take up farming as a career. That is why the stamp duty relief for young trained farmers is being extended in the Finance Bill.