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Snippet Contents:

With regard to capital tax reliefs in the agricultural sector, we must be extremely careful about what signal we give out, because these reliefs are valued by the farming community. We must be creative in finding the proper definition to ensure this sector can avail of the agricultural relief and ensure greater land mobility. Deputy Martin Heydon hit the nail on the head in terms of the reluctance in Ireland to sell land and the consequent lack of land mobility, notwithstanding previous incentives, be they installation aid or early retirement schemes, which never really succeeded in achieving their objective. The situation remained stagnant. This is a good proposal, but we need to ensure it is available to part-time farmers and those who facilitate the leasing of their land on to others. We also need to ensure there is relief in the area of stamp duty, because the definition as proposed in the legislation is equally restrictive in that area. We need to ensure the relief is available to part-time farmers and those who facilitate the availability of their land by way of long-term leases to others.
We tend to over-egg on all sides. It is damnation and perfidy from the Opposition benches and a bright new dawn from this side. We must consider the reality of the situation. We are giving back some €600 million, but we have taken multiples of that from people over the past number of years because of the financial situation. I admit that while we are giving back €600 million with one hand, we are taking much of it back through other indirect taxation. However, prudence is the order of the day. We must ensure we never have boom-and-bust cycles again. What is at play here also is a fundamental reorientation of our tax system. Taxes on work are regressive, and the more we can put into people's pockets to allow them discretionary spending the better. On the other hand, we will have indirect taxes, be they in the area of water or property taxes, but these allow individuals some degree of control over the outcome.
I welcome the opportunity I have had to say my few words. I hope this debate is not a dialogue of the deaf and I hope that some of the constructive suggestions from all sides will be taken on board.