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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘It is cheaper to fly to a holiday destination than to fill a tank of diesel on most tractors’

The IBLA has called on the Irish government, as a collective, to extend the same aviation fuel tax and fishing fleet fuel tax exemptions it affords to the aviation and fishing industries to agricultural diesel.

The farm group believes this would alleviate some of the current “significant” financial pressure on Irish primary producers due to increased fuel costs.

A spokesperson said: “It is now cheaper to fly to a far-off holiday destination than to fill a tank of diesel on most tractors that are used during the cultivation and harvesting of food in Ireland.“

“We are in unprecedented times. The road ahead is very uncertain and may be even bleaker.”

Agricultural diesel 

The group “remains consistent” in its requests for government to act in the best interests of primary producers.

“No longer can it be expected that farmers carry an undue financial burden when producing food.”

The spokesperson said that in an industry where it is widely recognised that primary producers are “price takers”, farmers simply cannot afford agricultural diesel at current prices.

The farm stressed that agri diesel is essential to run the machinery, that farmers require to work in fields to carry out essential work.

“We are not looking for special treatment just for farmers – just the same treatment, as received by the aviation industry or fishing industry. “

It called on the government to remove all additional charges on a litre of diesel. It said that this is the model for the aviation and fishing industry.

Fuel tax exemptions 

If the government grants it for agriculture, the group stated this would allow the essential work of sowing and harvesting to proceed this summer and autumn.

They said the aviation and fishing industry has availed of fuel tax exemptions for many years. It added that precedence has been set allowing these tax reliefs.

“It is now time for primary producers on the ground to be allowed avail of the same tax exemptions to prepare for the months ahead when the availability of animal feed and food security are a concern.”

Furthermore, the “recognised farm representative body” expressed its dismay at the DAFM’s “refusal” to grant an invite to last week’s crisis meeting.

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