TD Michael Fitzmaurice has lashed out at the recent stamp duty hikes and says that it is a huge blow for Irish agriculture.
Mr. Fitzmaurice says the new rates, up to 6% from 2%, were denied by the Minister denies to include agricultural land.
"As most people now know now it was announced in the Budget yesterday that the sale of commercial land would be subject to a new rate of 6% up from 2% from midnight. I brought it to the attention of the Government that agricultural land would be included in this new situation and that was denied by the Minister", he said.
Mr. Fitzmaurice tabled an amendment to the proposal, though it was rejected. He continued by saying he was fielding calls all day from auctioneers after the budget, worried over future rates on land. He says it could end up costing Irish Agriculture as much as €12 million, adding that this kind of money cannot be sourced “on the side of the road”.
“I got calls all day yesterday from auctioneers...and it finally emerged that agricultural land had indeed been included and is now subject to a rate of 6%. This will cost Irish agriculture 12 million Euro in one year alone.”, he stressed.
Fitzmaurice says they people who have recently secured loans, have to go back and try to source more funds to pay the extra stamp duty. He said he put a reasonable amendment on the issue to the Dáil, that wanted land bought for farming would retain the duty rate of 2%. That amendment was flatly rejected by all quarters, as Fitzmaurice hit out at those for not supporting it.
"I expected that amendment would have been supported by all sides of the house but unfortunately the Government did the usual and spun the story referring to state aid rules which was nonsense. The amendment went to a vote, the Government, the Independent Alliance and a few others voted against the amendment.”, he said.
Fitzmaurice says the news is a “blow” for the Irish Agriculture industry and says he is going to ensure this matter goes back to a vote again.
"This measure is a huge blow for Irish agriculture. The only hope I have now is that when the finance bill is published I am going to tackle this again with everything that I can muster. TD's will have to stand up again and be counted because I will ensure that this matter goes to a vote again" he concluded