‘Over­all farm­ers happy, but rise in stamp duty was a neg­a­tive as­pect’

Irish Independent - - News | Budget 2018 - Ryan O’Rourke

DONAL Hur­ley (50) runs a small dairy farm where he lives with his four chil­dren in Ban­don, Co Cork.

He is wor­ried not enough is be­ing done to tackle the ef­fect Brexit will have on the agri­cul­ture sec­tor in Ire­land.

“With Brexit com­ing up we need to fo­cus on in­fra­struc­ture, we need to fo­cus on beef­ing up what we have in hand,” he said.

Mr Hur­ley is also wor­ried about our re­liance on the UK, not only in terms of a mar­ket, but in terms of ac­cess to other mar­kets in Europe.

“We are too re­liant on their ports... we have to be pre­pared to go around them if we can’t go through them,” he said.

Re­act­ing to the Bud­get, Mr Hur­ley said: “Over­all we’re happy, I’m glad to see the help be­ing given to SMEs.”

How­ever, he said the farm­ing com­mu­nity was con­cerned about the ef­fect of the higher tax on land sales, which was in­tro­duced by Fi­nance Min­is­ter Paschal Dono­hoe.

“The rise in the stamp duty though, that’s a neg­a­tive as­pect,” he said.

An­other area Mr Hur­ley had hoped to see ad­dressed was the Earned In­come Tax Credit.

Although there was an in­crease of €200, many farm­ers are say­ing that it does not go far enough.

“It’s a step in the right di­rec­tion, that’s for sure,” he said.

The mod­erni­sa­tion of Ir­ish farm­ing is a hot topic right now, with the Ir­ish Farm­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (IFA) call­ing for €100m for the Tar­geted Agri­cul­tural Mod­erni­sa­tion Scheme (TAMS) in the Bud­get just gone, a move which Mr Hur­ley sup­ported.

“The fig­ures now need to be dou­bled, that’s for sure,” he said.

He has the help of one of his sons on the farm, while the other three chil­dren are all in col­lege.

The ex­pan­sion of the Ir­ish pres­ence in for­eign mar­kets is an­other area that he be­lieves is an im­por­tant is­sue, and hopes to see it tack­led next year.

Mr Hur­ley also wel­comed the in­tro­duc­tion of a low-in­ter­est loan pack­age.

Farmer Donal Hur­ley, from Ban­don, Co Cork. Photo: Daragh McSweeney/Pro­vi­sion

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