The Beef Plan Movement has, in its pre-Budget 2023 submission, set out its demands to address the current farming crisis.
In its submission to the minister, Eamon Corley, on behalf of its members, stated that every farmer is “well aware” that the increase in the cost of farm inputs has way outstripped the rise in the price of farm outputs.
He believes that it is “absolutely critical” that the government uses this budget to address this shortfall.
Farmers, he said, are responsible for feeding the world’s population. Therefore, it would be “irresponsible” of the government “not to step in and take the necessary measures so that these farmers can continue to do this important task”.
The group has set out a list of demands regarding farm inputs, a reduction in VAT and additions to pre-existing DAFM-funded farm schemes.
- Initiative to secure a supply of home-produced rations for animals in the form of a subsidy towards the storage and mixing of home-produced crops such as wheat, oats, barley, beans, and oilseed rape.
- A lime subsidy of €5/t.
- A €100/t rebate on fertiliser, applicable to the first 10 tonne;
- VAT reduction for ag contractors from 13.5% to 9% to help offset spiralling costs;
- A 5-cent reduction in the excise duty of agri diesel;
- Haulage costs for livestock: VAT rate change to 13.5% instead of 23% – same as ag contractors;
- Increase in the flat rate VAT refund to farmers from 5.5% to 6.00%;
- Electricity production, particularly wind turbines, solar panels and methane digesters: Gov guarantee a minimum buyback price of 15c/KWH, which would rise in line with electricity prices & no production limits. The group says It should not be it should not be necessary for farmers availing of Solar TAMS grants to install a second meter as most family farm households would just have one meter which covers their house and farm;
- Inclusion of water pumps and water troughs in TAMS;
- Further funding for farmer-run POs for the provision of cattle collection centres;
- A “well-funded” Farmer Retirement Scheme;
- Public transport: Households along public transport routes operating below capacity pay a yearly charge. Its submission reads: “The amount of this charge would then be given back to the householder in the form of public transport coupons. These coupons could then be used to pay for the use of the public transport that goes by their door. Should any of the coupons not be used, the revenue created should be used to provide public transport in areas not already served”.
In a statement to That’s Farming, Eamon Corley said:
“Beef Plan, having consulted with its members, has made its Budget submission to the Minister for Finance. The minister has acknowledged receipt of same and committed to considering the contents in the context of the forthcoming budget.”
“We look forward to these measures being implemented in the upcoming budget,” Corley added.