The news that all family farm transactions are to be protected from the recent new rules on stamp duty as the age limit of 67 is to be removed is to be welcomed, however it will solve only about 20% of the problem that exists with regard to the sale of Agricultural land and further extensive amendments will need to be made if the issue is to be sorted out properly to protect small family farms.
With regard to the sale of agricultural land I will be proposing the following amendments:
That a rate of 2% apply to up to a value of 300,000, that a rate of 4% apply between 300,000 and 500,000 and that a 6% rate apply to land values above 500,000 Euro. This would help family farms but would make sure the vultures and the hoarders would have to pay. I think the future of small family farms are at great risk with proposals that exist at the moment after the Budget.
I have sent the above proposals to the Minister today as small family farms need to be protected and small farmers who might want to make a modest addition to their holding should be allowed to do so with reasonable stamp duty rates applied. Higher rates of stamp duty can be applied to big holdings to ensure that the vulture funds and land hoarders would still have to pay.
If things are allowed to stay the way they are at the moment, it will be another nail into the coffin of rural Ireland and small family farms. I am publishing the above amendments today having consulted with farmers and farming organisations and I will be proposing them when we come to debate the Finance Bill in a couple of weeks time.

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