Draft legislation designed to make the Farm Management Deposit accessible to more farmers is now available for public comment.
Agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce said the draft legislation, released by Assistant Treasurer Senator Arthur Sinodinos, is designed to allow more farmers to access the FMD scheme, and to make existing FMD accounts easier to manage.
"FMDs are an important tool for many farmers because they give them a way to bank extra money in the good times so it is available in the bad times,” Mr Joyce said.
"That increases their self reliance and ability to stay viable even during tough times.
"Farmers, and their families, are doing it tough and facing challenging circumstances in many regions across Australia, and I want to make sure the Australian Government support available matches the need.
"That means improving primary producers' access to measures that help them prepare for the tough times.”
The amendments Senator Sinodinos is consulting on aim to:
- increase the amount of off-farm income that can be earned from $65,000 to $100,000 which will increase the number of primary producers able to access the FMD Scheme;
- allow primary producers to consolidate existing FMD accounts without taxation penalties;
- and stop rainy day savings being declared ‘unclaimed' and swallowed into the government's consolidated revenue account.
The exposure draft and accompanying explanatory material can be found on the Treasury's website. Submissions close on 28 February 2014.
HAVE YOUR SAY