Mar­ginal farm­ers in line for a €25m bud­get boost •

Green light for ANC scheme top-up More cash for TAMS New low-cost loan scheme in pipe­line

Irish Independent - Farming - - FRONT PAGE -

sim­i­lar to last year’s low-cost loans for farm­ers.

There was ex­tremely high de­mand for the €150m low-cost loan scheme, de­vel­oped by the Gov­ern­ment and Strate­gic Bank­ing Cor­po­ra­tion of Ire­land (SBCI) for cash-strapped farm­ers. The farm bod­ies have been warn­ing ac­cess to credit at a com­pet­i­tive rate is vi­tal to pro­vide work­ing cap­i­tal on farms.

There will also be con­tin­ued ex­pen­di­ture un­der the Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme for schemes such as GLAS and the €300m Beef Data and Ge­nomics Pro­gramme (BDGP).

How­ever, it is un­der­stood there won’t be any in­crease in fund­ing un­der the BDGP scheme.

Long-run­ning con­cerns over the im­pact of the Fair Deal nurs­ing home scheme on fam­ily farms and busi­nesses are also ex­pected to be tack­led.

A pro­posed three-year cap will ap­ply to farm­land and busi­nesses as part of a Bud­get deal set out by Min­is­ter of State for Older Peo­ple Jim Daly. This will dra­mat­i­cally re­duce the fi­nan­cial bur­den fac­ing el­derly peo­ple and their fam­i­lies. To­day’s Bud­get is also ex­pected to have an ex­tremely strong Brexit fo­cus for farm­ers and small busi­nesses who have been badly hit by the col­lapse in ster­ling. One of Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Michael Creed’s top pri­or­i­ties in re­cent months has been build­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in new mar­kets and help­ing pro­tect farm­ers against vul­ner­a­bil­ity. Mr Creed ( pic­tured) re­cently an­nounced a mar­ket di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion drive to sup­port the food and drink sec­tors that are heav­ily de­pen­dent on the UK mar­ket, with an ad­di­tional €6.7m of fund­ing for Bord Bia. Another key fo­cus of the Bud­get for farm­ers could be mea­sures to tackle the level of in­come volatil­ity af­fect­ing farm­ers and agri-busi­nesses. Sev­eral tools to help cope with volatil­ity have been set out by the IFA and ICMSA.

Th­ese in­clude a pro­posal from the IFA for a de­posit scheme which would al­low farm­ers to place on de­posit in­come re­ceived in a par­tic­u­lar year and to bring it back into their farm en­ter­prise at any time within the next five years.

The in­come would be­come sub­ject to in­come tax at the time of its be­ing drawn down.

In their pre-Bud­get sub­mis­sions, the IFA and ICMSA high­lighted the im­por­tance of re­tain­ing key mea­sures such as keep­ing the 90pc Agri­cul­tural Re­lief from Cap­i­tal Ac­qui­si­tions Tax.

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