While cuts to USC, pension increases and a Public Sector pay rise are among the main components of Budget 2017 anounced today, the Marine Sector came in for special mention with a new income tax credit that recognises the difficult nature of work in the fishing sector.
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan & Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe delivered Budget 2017 in the Dail today.
Following on from a recommendation made in the marine tax review completed last year, the government says it aims to assist the viability of the commercial fishing sector and at attracting and retaining staff.
The €1,270 annual credit will shelter income of up to €6,350, which is the equivalent value of the seafarers exemption.
There was €121.5 million in the Budget for Fisheries, fishery harbours and marine related Non-Commercial State Sponsored Bodies (NCSSBs) such as the Marine Institute, Bord Iascaigh Mhara and the Sea Fisheries Protection Agency – €43.6m of this is for the Seafood Development Programme.
Outlining these incentives the Minister for the Marine Michael Creed said “I am keen to acknowledge the commitment and hard work of fishermen and the contribution they make to the development of our Blue Economy. It is vital for the development of this sector to maintain employment and attract new entrants to the sector. Therefore, I am pleased to confirm an annual tax credit specifically for fishermen of €1,270. Furthermore I welcome changes to ‘Fish Assist’ including a €5 weekly increase and increased eligibility criteria.”
The €241m European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme, launched in January 2016, will be further rolled out in 2017 with an increased total budget in 2017 of €43m made available across the Marine Department and its agencies.”