8.20pm: Thank you for tuning into our Budget 2020 coverage. Pick up this week's Irish Farmers Journal for a full breakdown and analysis of the measures that will affect farmers.

8.10pm: Organics, forestry and horticulture

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Minister of State Andrew Doyle announced the follow funding in Budget 2020:

  • €103m for the Forestry Programme.
  • €6m in capital investment for the commercial horticulture sector.
  • €16.8m for Bord na gCon.
  • €12m is being provided for the organic farming scheme and a further €1.2m for development of the organic sector.
  • 8.01pm: No tax on green diesel

    It appears that green diesel will not face the carbon tax, with just petrol and diesel in the firing line.

    7.47pm: Sheep Welfare Scheme and on-farm investment

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    Some €18m has been included for the continuation of the Sheep Welfare Scheme as part of Budget 2020. Meanwhile, an additional €12m will also be provided for on-farm investment for climate friendly measures.

    7.07pm: New dairy calf to beef scheme and other measures

    The Irish Farmers Journal reveals that a new pilot dairy calf to beef weighing scheme is expected to be introduced as part of Budget 2020, paying out €10/calf for each calf that is weighed on beef farms.

    The Irish Farmers Journal also understands there is a €10m allocation for a new animal health scheme which will involve the vaccination of calves and/or weanlings.

    You can read the full story here:

    6.26pm: "Very little detail" in budget on no-deal Brexit

    The ICSA has reacted badly to Tuesday’s budget, with president Edmond Phelan calling it ‘unfair’ and ‘begrudging'.

    5.21pm: Macra says budget is "largely uninspiring"

    Macra president Thomas Duffy questioned whether there was enough to mitigate the potential damage to Ireland’s young farmers and rural youth.

    4.44pm: IFA reaction to budget

    The IFA was first out of the traps with its reaction to Budget 2020. IFA president Joe Healy said that Ireland faces “agricultural Armageddon” and that the agricultural sector did not receive enough funding.

    You can read the full story here:

    2:10pm: Christmas bonus

    The minister has announced a 100% Christmas bonus payment for those on social welfare.

    There will be a rise of €5 in the living alone allowance.

    There will be an increase in child payments of €3 for children over 12 and an increase of €2 for children under 12 years of age.

    There is a €13m fund allocated to the warmer homes scheme.

    2.05pm: Capital acquisitions tax threshold increase

    There will be an increase in the threshold for group A capital acquisitions tax (CAT) from €320,000 to €335,000. Group A is between a parent and a child. A 33% tax rate applies on any inheritance or gift that goes above this threshold.

    2.00pm: €81m for gardaí

    The Government will allocate €81m to An Garda Síochána and the force is to employ extra civilian staff to allow for gardaí to return to front-line duties.

    1.59pm: Increase in earned income credit

    For farmers and other self-employed workers, there will be an increase to the earned income credit by €150 to bring the value of the credit to €1,500.

    The earned income tax credit for the self-employed is to increase by 10% to €1,500 in Budget 2020.

    This is a 10% increase, but falls short of delivering on the full equalisation with the PAYE sector, who have a tax credit of €1,650.

    While falling short of the Government commitment to fully equalise tax rates in the lifetime of this parliament, it is one of only two personal taxation concessions in the Budget.

    An increase in the carer's allowance is the only other measure extended by Paschal Donohoe in a cautious Brexit- influenced Budget.

    1:55pm: Increase in the cost of cigarettes

    There will be an increase of 50c on cigarettes, to be applied from midnight on Tuesday, bringing the price of the most popular packet of 20 cigarettes to €13.50.

    1.53pm: Fuel price hikes

    The increase by €6/t in the carbon tax, from €20/t to €26/t, will see an increase of between 2c/l and 3c/l on petrol and diesel and between 1.5c/l and 2c/l on agri diesel.

    1.49pm: Stamp duty increase

    "I have decided to increase the rate of stamp duty applicable to non-residential property by 1.5% with effect from tonight," Minister Donohoe said.

    1.52pm: Medical cards

    Budget 2020 is to increase the income threshold on medical cards for people over 70 by €50 for a single person and €150 for married people per week. This will benefit 56,000 citizens, the minister said.

    There will also be free GP care for children under eight and free dental care for children under eight.

    Prescription charges will be reduced by 50c for everyone and the Drug Payment Scheme is being reduced by €10 per month.

    1.44pm: Funding for rural transport and greenways

    Some €9m has been announced in greenway and cycleway funding.

    1.39pm: Extra €51m for Department of Agriculture

    The Department of Agriculture will receive additional funding of €51m in 2020. Minister Donohue said this was in recognition of agriculture as the cornerstone of the rural economy and the thousands of jobs it supports.

    Another €3m will be used to fund new pilot agri-environment schemes. These schemes will “help reduce emissions while increasing biodiversity and supporting incomes”.

    The Department of Rural Development will also receive an additional €17m.

    1.37pm: Farm restructuring relief

    Minister Donohoe is extending farm restructuring relief with no change to the conditions.

    You can claim full relief from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) if you dispose of farmland for farm restructuring purposes.

    Conditions include:

  • Full relief from CGT when the purchase price exceeds the sales price.
  • Partial relief on CGT when the purchase price is lower than the sale price.
  • Farmers could also qualify for relief on stamp duty on the new parcel of land they buy as part of the restructure.

    1.35pm: €5m for bogs and €20m for the midlands

    Some €20m of the carbon tax fund will be devoted to targeted supports for the midlands region.

    Some €5m has been allocated for peatland rehabilitation "which supports the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and enhanced bio-diversity".

    There is to be an investment in a local task force to support 400 sustainable jobs and another 100 jobs for supports in peatlands.

    1.33pm: €85m for beef sector

    A separate €85m is also to be provided by the Government for beef farmers.

    The Irish Farmers Journal understands that the €85m will be in targeted schemes to support "sustainable beef farming".

    This includes almost €45m for the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) and a further €40m for targeted supports.

    1.26pm: Petrol and diesel prices to rise from midnight

    Petrol and diesel charges are to rise from midnight on Tuesday, following an increase in the carbon tax of €6/t.

    "Climate change is without doubt our defining challenge. We now have a plan that sets out a pathway to achieving our 2030 targets," Minister Donohoe said, adding that bold and new decisions are needed.

    He said it is the Government's intention to increase the carbon tax from €20/t to €80/t by 2030 – this would raise an additional €6bn that could be invested in de-carbonisinig the economy.

    "There will be a €6/t increase as a first step towards this target. It will apply from midnight tonight to auto fuels. It will raise €90m in 2020, all of which will be ringfenced to fund new climate action measures," Minister Donohoe said.

    1.12pm: €110m for agriculture in no-deal Brexit

    In the event of a no-deal Brexit, €110m will be provided through the Department of Agriculture.

    "The provision of immediate supports for the beef sector will be our first priority," Minister Donohoe said.

    Breakdown of €110m:

  • €85m for beef.
  • €14m for seafood.
  • €6m livestock and mushroom.
  • €5m food and drinks processing industry.
  • 1.10pm: €1.2bn package in the event of a no-deal Brexit

    Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue has announced a €1.2bn package in the event of a no-deal Brexit. He stressed that it will be borrowed money and it will only be borrowed in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

    Of the package, €650m will be for agriculture, enterprise and tourism sectors.

    1.03pm: Brexit budget

    "This is a budget without precedence ... we seek to manage risk for our nation while aiming to make progress on so much," Minister Donohoe says.

    "We stand ready" if there is a no-deal Brexit, he adds.

    1.00pm: Budget 2020 announcement

    Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has entered the Dáil chamber, where he will deliver the budget for 2020.

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