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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Rural TDs want €300/suckler cow & tax-free lump sum payment for retiring farmers

In publishing its pre-Budget submission 2023, rural TDs have stated that production capacity is a “critical” piece in ensuring food security at home and around the world.

The Rural Independent Group believes that it is not a time for Ireland to go backwards and is; therefore, the country’s moral obligation to produce a “reliable, trusted and affordable” supply of “vital” produce to feel the Irish people and support countries facing food insecurity.

Firstly, the Rural Independent TDs are seeking €2 billion from the expected €9 billion carbon tax fund to  2030, to be ring-fenced for the agricultural sector, given that this tax is “taking millions from farming families every year”.

This funding, in their view, must be treated separately from the CAP pillar II funding.

Farm scheme proposals 

The group has set out nine main farm scheme proposals, as follows:

  1. Full co-financing from the exchequer for all EU schemes
    • Ensuring that all Pillar II schemes are “properly funded”;
    • Supportive grants for a reduction of inputs to cut input costs for farmers;
    • Clear commitment to ring-fence €2 billion of carbon tax receipts for the farming sector.
  1. €300 per suckler cow, €30 per ewe, and €300m for ANCs funding 
  2. A new funding scheme for tillage farmers to stop the exodus from this sector 
  3. Accelerated capital allowances 
    • VAT exemptions on the purchase of emissions-efficient investment in equipment and facilities
  1. Young Trained Farmer Stamp Duty Relief post-2022 
    • Application of the young, trained farmer stamp duty relief for 2023 to allow and encourage “rapid” land transfers.
  1. Funding scheme to allow new farmers to avail of an establishment  grant of up to €40,000  
    • This funding, the group highlighted, can be a blend of direct grant aid and taxation relief.
  1. Renewable generation funding 
    • A ring-fenced fund for farmers to allow for developing medium-sized wind electricity generators for use on-farm, and an easy access scheme to allow excess energy to be sold into the national grid at market rates.
  1. Extend the forestry grant-aid schemes to an option of a 25-year term 
    • Complete overhaul of licensing system;
    • Forestry farmers should be allowed to avail of forestry grants for up to 25 years instead of the current 15 years.
  1. A retirement scheme incorporating a tax-free lump sum payment for retiring farmers
    • The scheme, the submission reads, must strictly encompass, support, and facilitate generational renewal;
    • The scheme, the TDs say, should have two main deliverables;
    • Firstly to financially support the retiring farmer while allowing that same farmer a “genuine” connection to the farm if they so wish;
    • Secondly, that land that becomes available, be that through sale or lease, enters into the hands of young farmers regardless of the enterprise.
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