One Independent TD has urged the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to consider revising the upper age limit for farmers who wish to access various departmental schemes and grants following the completion of a Green Certificate.
Deputy Carol Nolan believes that the DAFM should give the proposal “serious thought” given the demographics and Irish farmers’ age profile.
She shed light on the matter following concerns following an exchange with constituents in her electoral area.
“I am aware of some farmers, in their very early 40s, who for one reason or another such as family commitments or health concerns could not complete the Green Cert.”
“It seems unfair to automatically exclude such people, especially as farmers in their early 40s would no longer be considered particularly ‘old’ by any stretch of the imagination.”
Upper age limit for farmers
While the ‘Green Cert’ has no age limit to complete, an applicant must be under the age of 40, in their first five years of farming, with the Green Cert or equivalent before they can apply for schemes.
- The Young Farmer Scheme;
- The National Reserve;
- TAMS, where a person can obtain a 60% grant for on-farm buildings, machinery and other farm safety improvements.
“I would like to hear solid reasons why exceptions cannot be made for those who are, say, 41 or even 43 or 44. We may also need to examine this from a Revenue perspective.”
“As I understand it from my engagement with Teagasc on this issue, it is currently the case that while Stamp Duty exemptions are available when inheriting land under 35 years of age, once the person goes over this age, then an applicant with the Green Cert can only apply for Consanguinity Relief which will reduce stamp duty to 1%,” deputy Nolan added.
Therefore, the deputy believes this suggestion is “worth exploring at the very least”.
She believes this is particuarly the case if it motivates more “relatively young people” to take up farming with the support of various grants and schemes.