Minister of State with responsibility for Research & Development, Farm Safety and New Market Development, Martin Heydon, has launched the Acceleration of Wear and Tear Allowances for Farm Safety Equipment Scheme.
This follows the signing of the commencement order to allow for accelerated capital allowances on qualifying farm safety and adaptation equipment.
Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, signed the commencement order for Section 17 of the Finance Act 2020 (No. 26 of 2020).
Farm Safety Equipment Scheme
This will introduce accelerated capital allowances for qualifying farm safety equipment. It places a particular emphasis on supporting those who have suffered life-changing injuries as a result of incidents on farms.
A large proportion of all fatal workplace incidents (42%) occur in the agriculture, fishing, and forestry sector.
Data from the HSA shows that between 2016 and 2020, there were 100 fatal incidents on farms.
Minister Heydon has worked with Minister Donohoe to introduce accelerated capital allowances for certain farm safety and adaptive equipment for farmers with disabilities.
Currently, capital allowances are available at 12.5% per annum over eight years for agricultural equipment generally.
The new scheme will allow for accelerated capital allowances of 50% p.a. over two years for certain eligible equipment.
This eligible equipment includes, for example, chemical storage cabinets, anti-backing gates, and adaptive equipment to assist farmers with disabilities.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Revenue will administer the scheme.
An annual total equipment cost of €5 million p.a., excluding VAT, for the measure will apply.
Supporting farmers to get back to work
Minister Heydon said: “Having listened to those survivors and families impacted by farm incidents, I am determined that farmers who have suffered a life-changing injury are not left behind. “
“As the first minister to be given special responsibility for farm safety, I am delighted to be able to announce that this scheme is now operational.”
“Any qualifying adaptions or equipment purchased since January 1st are eligible under the scheme.”
Farmers may now apply for certificates for the Accelerated Capital Allowance to the DAFM.
“With this scheme, we are supporting farmers and helping those who have suffered a serious physical injury to get back to work.”
“This is more than just about enabling people to getting back to farming, but also about improving their physical and mental wellbeing.”
Minister Donohoe said the accelerated capital allowance underlines the priority afforded to the issue of farm safety in the Programme for Government and reflects the commitment to make further progress.
“Farmers are now able to apply to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for a certificate to verify that the investment they have made is eligible for the accelerated capital allowance and then apply to include the tax relief as part of their annual accounts.”
“With the scheme now in place, the measure will be kept under review for the rest of 2021 and beyond.”
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, added:
“This scheme reflects how the Department of Agriculture is working with all arms of the Government to drive change concerning safety behaviour while supporting those farmers who have suffered serious injury.”
“My department will continue to focus on farm safety as a priority area.”
“I also want to thank Minister Donohoe and acknowledge his engagement on this important issue,” he concluded.