Triple stamp duty was a clear mistake - Martin Kenny TD
Sinn Féin TD for Sligo, Leitrim, West Cavan and South Donegal Martin Kenny TD has told Minister Richard Bruton that the government had made a big mistake when it trebled stamp duty on farmland.
Speaking today at Leaders' Question, Deputy Kenny said:
“There was dismay in the farming community and among farm organisations when it became clear that the Government's proposal to triple to 6% the rate of stamp duty on commercial property would apply to farmland, despite the assurances of the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
"Sinn Féin supported an amendment tabled by Deputy Fitzmaurice in an attempt to amend the Government's proposal, but Fianna Fáil abstained when it was put to a vote and this measure therefore came into effect.
“In the case of farmland, we are hearing that the exemptions will be extended in the finance Bill by eliminating the cap that limits certain reliefs to those under the age of 67.
"This would negate the original purpose of the Government's measure, which was to incentivise the early lifetime transfer of land to the next generation and to encourage young farmers to extend their holdings.
“All of this is being done now to cover up for the clear mistake the Government made in the budget. The core issue is that at a time when farm incomes are half the average industrial wage and many farm enterprises are not viable without being expanded, the Government is proposing to triple the level of stamp duty imposed on farmers who are trying to make their holdings viable.
“Did the Minister or his advisers not know what the Minister for Finance was proposing, or did they get it wrong?”