Macra Na Feirme launches Budget Submission 2024
Press Release: 31 July 2023
Macra na Feirme has laid out its priorities for Budget 2024 for creating a stronger more progressive agricultural sector and vibrant rural communities for young people to live and work. The focus is on creating a future for rural Ireland and our agricultural sector, with some of the main priorities being around accessibility to land and greater supports around housing.
“Macra members want to see positive changes and that change starts with investing in young people as we are the future of rural communities. Our budget submission this year has a broad mix of different priorities centred around eight action areas presented in our ‘steps for the future’ demonstration last April. We are continuing to build on the work done over the last couple of months and we will continue to work until we find real and viable solutions for our members, and for all rural people” said Macra National President Elaine Houlihan.
The agricultural proposal includes important existing measures such as the extension of consanguinity relief as well as the introduction of new measures to support young farmers. For example, exemptions for the leasing of farmland to family members. Macra are also seeking the roll out of a Pilot Succession Scheme to further help young farmers gain access to land while also securing financial support for the land transferor.
“Young farmers are integral to the sustainability of rural Ireland. Our budget proposals highlight the need for the government to support farm succession to ensure that young people remain on the land and see a future in our agricultural sector going forward” said Agricultural Affairs Chair Liam Hanrahan.
Macra’s proposals on health, safety and well-being services in rural communities are key to increasing the health status of rural people, and that all individuals have equitable access to these services. Some of Macra’s priorities are consent training, the extension of free contraception from 26-35 years of age, and funding for our rural based mental health initiative “Make the Moove” along with a national roll out of an awareness campaign on substance abuse via spiking.
“Young people play a vital roll in rural communities and in the past few months we have seen a massive departure of our work force especially around healthcare, so we are calling on the government to provide a non-means tested €1000 grant to all student nurses and paramedics, it is important all healthcare professionals are treated the same as some are already being provide financial support during their training” said Rural Youth Chair Niamh Farrell.
On Wednesday 26 July 2023 Macra met with Minister McConalogue and his department officials on their Pre Budget submission. In attendance from Macra was Macra National President Elaine Houlihan, Agricultural Affairs Chair Dr Liam Hanrahan, Senior Research and Policy Executive Dr Maria Snell and Macra’s CEO Mick Curran.
“Our meeting with Minister McConalogue and his department officials was a positive meeting as we put forward our priorities for young people in agriculture with a strong focus being put on our succession scheme, taxes and farm safety.” said Elaine Houlihan.