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Written Answers. - Stamp Duty.

Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 1

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 215. Mr. Killeen Information on Tony Killeen Zoom on Tony Killeen  asked the Minister for Finance Information on Charlie McCreevy Zoom on Charlie McCreevy  if he will consider aligning dates for stamp duty exemption for qualifying young farmers with those applied by the Department of Agriculture and Food following recent changes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23765/02]

Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): Information on Charlie McCreevy Zoom on Charlie McCreevy The exemption the Deputy is referring to is a relief known as young trained farmers relief. This relief was introduced by section 112 of the Finance Act, 1994, which provided for a two-thirds reduction in stamp duty on the transfer of land to a young trained farmer. This relief was introduced on foot of commitments in the Programme for Competitiveness and Work for a three year period until 31 December 1996.

In the context of structural reform identified in the Partnership 2000 programme, section 126 of the Finance Act, 1997, extended the relief for a further three years, up to 31 December 1999. Under the terms of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness, the two-thirds relief was increased to full stamp duty relief in section 126 of the Finance Act, 2000, for a further three years until 31 December 2002. It is estimated that the cost of this relief in 2002 will amount to €9.4 million.

For the purposes of the relief a “young trained farmer” is one who: (i) is under 35 years of age at the date of execution of the transfer; and, (ii) is the holder of one of the specified qualifications, for example, the Teagasc certificate in farming; or (iii) if born before 1 January 1968, has three years experience in farming together with satisfactory completion of Teagasc training courses in [221] agriculture and horticulture of 180 hours' duration.

The date of 1 January 1968 in point (iii) was devised in consultation with Teagasc and the Department of Agriculture and Food. The rationale behind this concession for those born before 1 January 1968 is that before that date comprehensive training in agriculture was not readily available on a national basis. Since then, all aspiring farmers had access to such training.

As the Deputy will appreciate, given the forthcoming budget and the ongoing discussions with the social partners regarding a potential successor to the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness, it is not appropriate for me to comment at this stage on the possibility of extending this relief for a further period, or of changing the conditions attached to it.

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