Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Finance, Pascal Donohue, to place a moratorium on the introduction of commercial stamp duty rate increases until the impact on agricultural land has been fully assessed. Deputy McGrath was speaking after it was announced in the Budget that Stamp Duty is set to rise from 2% to 6%:
“This move is set to have a devastating impact on the small and medium-size farmers. It will also make commercial expansion of the farm a totally unrealistic prospect.
I raised this matter continuously during the programme for government negotiations where I urged against such an increase for these very reasons.
It is incredibly disappointing that Minister Donohue and the department have decided to pursue this option given how absolutely clear it is to all of us in rural Ireland how backward a move it actually is.
Minister Donohoe is justifying the stamp duty increase on the grounds that it will get the commercial property market moving again, but this takes no account of the unique nature of agricultural land.
It is just one more sign that this government is desperately out of touch with the reality of the rural economy and what it takes to maintain a thriving rural community.
The least the Minister should do is place an immediate moratorium on the increase until discussions can be had with all relevant stakeholders and agricultural organisations,” concluded Deputy McGrath.