Thursday, 9 May 2019

Questions (47)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

47. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 136 of 16 April 2019, his views on a matter (details supplied). [20283/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that where consanguinity relief is not available, the full amount of stamp duty relieved under the ‘young trained farmer’ relief counts towards the amount of State aid that may be granted in the context of the application of Article 18 of the EU Agricultural Block Exemption Regulations. That article imposes a €70,000 ceiling on the amount of State aid that may be granted to an individual farmer. Accordingly, in the situation outlined by the Deputy, the full amount of the €60,000 stamp duty chargeable on the open market purchase of farmland is relieved under the ‘young trained farmer relief’, which means in effect that €60,000 State aid has been granted.

I would again stress two points I made in my reply to your previous PQ on this matter.

Firstly, supporting young farmers and generational renewal continues to be a priority for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, as it is for the Government, and will form an important part of the CAP post-2020. Minister Creed and his Department are actively engaging with other Member States and the EU on these issues during the current negotiations on new CAP proposals.

Secondly, any changes to the Regulation that gives rise to the lifetime cap on the state aid that farmers can receive under the three schemes covered by it in Ireland can only be considered in the context of the CAP negotiations. In the meantime, the Government must seek to ensure, as with all EU Regulations, that the Regulation is enforced here, or we risk being in contravention of EU law.