Finance Minister Michael Noonan has announced a number of tax measures to support young farmers across Ireland. 

In his Budget speech, he announced a number of measures to encourage long term leasing of land.

Minister Noonan said there would be an increase in the income tax exempt threshold by 50% and a new threshold for leases of 15 years and over will be introduced. 

The minister acknowledged the volatile prices make it difficult for families to earn a steady income, so to improve that he said that he is introducing a number of measures.

He is also allowing income averaging on farm income to be available to farmers who derive off farm income.

This measure will be reviewed after three years. 

Meanwhile, the flat rate addition for farmers not registered for VAT is being increased from 5% to 5.2% with effect from next January. 

An extra €6m over the next three years will be allocated to the fund for horse and greyhound racing.

The Government is also allocating additional capital of €5m to Horse Racing Ireland to 2015 to leverage investment in race courses.

The minister is also increasing the annual excise relief production ceiling for microbreweries from 20,000 to 30,000 hectolitres.

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Minister for Agriculture and Food Simon Coveney said the package of measures for farmers included in the Budget will lead to a more efficient and productive sector and enable farmers to face the challenges and opportunities ahead.

He says that this is an exciting time for Irish agriculture and he expects the impact of the Budget to be felt for a generation to come.

Budget 2015, which is one of the most positive for decades for the farming sector, incorporates 12 new agri-taxation measures, the most substantial package of its kind ever introduced in a single budget.

It also ensures that the existing tax reliefs for farmers have been retained.

Five of the new measures introduced are aimed at increasing access to land to allow progressive farmers to enlarge their farm holdings and increase productivity and also to enable young farmers to have a better chance of getting a foothold in the industry.

There were also four measures introduced to assist in the succession and transfer of farms.

In addition to these measures, there were three other tax changes aimed at complementing wider agriculture policies and schemes, such as the Common Agricultural Policy.

The department has also secured an increase in funding for the first time since 2009.

The minister said this would enable him to commence key actions that will underpin the new rural development and seafood development programmes.