There will be no increase in inheritance tax for farmers while Fine Gael is in Government, according to Tánaiste and party leader Leo Varadkar.
“I can give you that commitment for the duration of this Government and while this party is in power, we’re not going to increase the burden of inheritance tax on farmers,” he said.
The Fine Gael leader was speaking at the National Ploughing Championships on Wednesday.
Passing on farms
“If somebody builds up a small business and builds it up through a hell of a lot of work over the generations, they should be able to pass that on to their son or daughter, who probably helped out with the business too, without facing a huge tax bill.”
The same thing applies to family farms which “go back generations”, the Tánaiste said.
The Minister for Enterprise said that “if somebody faces a huge tax bill when somebody passes on, that creates an enormous problem because you either then have to sell the farm or the business in order to pay the tax bill in which case it’s no longer in the family, or you have to take on perhaps a crippling debt.”
He said this debt is “the equivalent of a major mortgage which you’ll have to pay down over the years” and that this “encumbers the possibility to modernise that farm or advance that business”.
“It doesn’t really make much economic sense for me,” he said.
Increasing the threshold
The Tánaiste described how “under Fine Gael Governments”, the “current regime that exists in relation to farming” was brought in.
“At least once austerity was over, we increased the threshold for reducing inheritance tax and we’ve no plans to go back on that now and I can give you that commitment for the duration of this Government and while this party is in power,” he said.