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Snippet Contents:

We need to reward entrepreneurship - people who establish new companies, create employment and take that risk. In respect of having a tax code in place that gives them a three-year corporation tax relief, I welcome the decision to extend that up to the end of 2015.
With regard to section 28, I welcome the extension of the Living City initiative. The expenditure has been limited to €1.6 million for companies and €400,000 for individuals so as to permit the commencement of the scheme as soon as possible. The limits mean that the initiative comes under a less complex EU state rule regulation. This initiative has already attracted attention in Galway from individuals seeking to restore and renovate homes in older parts of the city, and I certainly welcome that.
In respect of agricultural reliefs, I welcome the policy initiated by the Ministers for Finance and Agriculture, Food and the Marine in respect of the agricultural section of the tax regime for farmers. I welcome the initiatives relating to assistance in succession and farm transfer; in section 18, the targeting of agricultural relief from capital acquisitions tax to qualified or full-time farmers or those who wish to lease out land on a long-term basis; in section 44, transfers under the retirement relief and the extension of the eligible letting period of a qualifying asset to 25 years; and for transfers other than to a child under retirement relief, a one-off measure until the end of 2016 deeming conacre or short-term rented land lettings to be eligible. I also welcome section 69, which concerns the extension of stamp duty consanguinity relief to related persons on non-residential transfers to the end of 2017. We know the importance of encouraging land transfer and encouraging young people into farming as our primary industry. We know that next year, with the removal of milk quotas, there will be a significant rush to acquire blocks of land by dairy farmers, and they need to have security and certainty into the future. These initiatives and measures will allow them to secure plots of land on a long-term basis. People will be more willing to lease land long-term because it will be more tax-beneficial for them.
One issue I have concerns about is the definition in the Bill of an active farmer. I would support the cause of the Irish Farmers' Association and its belief that the definition of an active farmer should be amended. It states in the Bill that it relates to people who spend 50% of their time on the farm. There is a lot of off-farm employment, so I would ask that the definition of an active farmer be defined as an individual who is carrying out the trade of farming as set out in the section 655 of the Taxes Consolidation Act. I hope the Minister will look at that in amendments on Committee Stage.