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Farming (Young Entrants)

Volume 116: debated on Friday 15 May 1987

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what measures the Government have taken since 1979 to support young entrants to farming.

[pursuant to his reply, 8 May 1987, c. 564]: Special help with capital expenditure incurred by new entrant young farmers was made available for the first time in October 1985 when the Government introduced the agriculture improvement scheme. Under that scheme a premium of 25 per cent. on the normal grant rates for grant investments is offered to suitably qualified young farmers. Young farmers have also benefited from the comprehensive changes to agrecultural holdings legislation made in 1984, in particular the ending of statutory succession for new tenancies.The Government have also made improvements in the tax system designed to help farmers pass on their properties to their successors, and to encourage the letting of land. Abolition of investment income surcharge and improvements in inheritence tax and capital gains tax reliefs have made it easier for retiring farmers to pass the reins on to others.