Early trac­tor ooe of stars of Dr­ish yio­tage sceoe:

Irish Examiner - Farming - - FRONT PAGE -

cul­ture Depart­ment. Farm­ers were dis­ap­pointed that the Earned In­come Tax Credit for self-em­ployed tax­pay­ers in­creased by only €200 in the Bud­get, leav­ing a farmer earn­ing €16,500 still pay­ing €500 a year more in in­come tax than an em­ployee. Full equity had been promised in the Pro­gramme for Gov­ern­ment. Mean­while, all tax­pay­ers can ben­e­fit from the 40% tax rate ap­ply­ing from €34,550, up from €33,800 pre­vi­ously. This rep­re­sents a €300 tax cut. The bud­get an­nounce­ment also in­cluded 250 ex­tra places in the Ru­ral So­cial Scheme. Like other so­cial wel­fare schemes, the Farm As­sist max­i­mum weekly rate will in­crease by €5 from March 26, 2018, with pro­por­tion­ate in­creases for qual­i­fied adult de­pen­dants, and a €2 in­crease per qual­i­fied de­pen­dent child. The new Depart­ment of Ru­ral and Com­mu­nity Develo p m e n t h a d i t s f u n d i n g in­creased 12%, by €19m. The Brexit threat to the food in­dus­try is also ad­dressed by €4.5m of ex­tra fund­ing for Bord Bia, and €5m of grant aid to companies for im­proved ef­fi­ciency and pro­duc­tiv­ity. There is also €5m for re­search and in­no­va­tion in the Pre­pared Con­sumer Foods Sec­tor, par­tic­u­larly chal­lenged by Brexit. Farm­ers us­ing up to half of their land to in­stall so­lar pan­els will be el­i­gi­ble for agri­cul­tural and re­tire­ment tax re­lief. Farm­ers in­ter­ested in re­new­able heat gen­er­a­tion wel­comed the an­nounce­ment of €7m in the sec­ond half of 2018 for roll­out of the new Re­new­able Heat In­cen­tive Scheme. Gen­er­a­tion of heat from bio­gas and biomass such as wood and en­ergy crops is likely to be in­cluded in the RHI.

6% stamp duty on some farm sales: p3

What wasn’t in the Bud­get: p3

Kieran Cough­lan col­umn: p4

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