Dan Neville, TD, Chairman of Fine Gael Party has said that Budget 2016, announced today by Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, will make a significant difference for those in rural Ireland.
“Budget 2016 has introduced a series of agri-taxation measures including the extension of the general stock relief, stock relief for young farmers and stamp duty exemptions for young trained farmers up to the end of 2018. There will be a tax credit of €5,000 per annum for five years for farmers who transfer their land to successors over a period of time, making it easier for farms to be passed from one generation to the next. These measures make farming more attractive to younger people and to families.
“This Government is tackling rural crime by investing in more Gardaí and today’s announcement of 600 additional Gardaí will be added to the 550 who have already started training since this Government reopened Templemore.
“Budget 2016 also announced the increase in the Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) band from €225,000 to €280,000 for children inheriting the family home or farm. CAT has long been criticised for its low threshold so I very much welcome this change.
“One in three jobs created in the economy come from small business and local employers. All of these businesses will now be able to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit of €550. Farmers, who also contribute massively to rural Ireland, are self-employed and will be eligible to claim this credit. It will also apply to a spouse where a couple both work on the farm. This will begin the process of tax equalisation for the self-employed and PAYE workers.
“In addition Minister Noonan also announced a reduction in USC, which in real terms will mean people earning under €70,000 will pay less than 50% tax for the first time since 2009. This will benefit working families across the country and marks another step towards the end of USC. An increase of €5 in child benefit and the extension of the free pre-school year will also make a big difference to families here in Limerick.
“This Government has allocated €275 million for the National Broadband Plan as part of the Capital Investment Plan, we have maintained the 9% VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sectors and we are driving forward with the Regional Action Plan for Jobs bringing growth to all parts of the country.
“This Budget is a positive one for rural Ireland after what has been a very difficult time. The last few budgets have been hard, but they made it possible for Ireland to exit the bailout, reduce our debts, and move into a real recovery.
“The top priority this year is to keep the recovery going in all parts of the country, while providing relief and better services. This Budget is affordable, responsible and consistent with the Government’s plan to eliminate Government borrowing by 2018 and to promote regional economic growth, jobs and future recovery.“