The IFA has launched its pre-Budget 2022 submission, which lays the foundation for a “fair, sustainable” agri-food sector.
IFA president, Tim Cullinan, said it provides a blueprint for government to follow if it “genuinely wants to ensure the future viability” of Ireland’s largest indigenous sector.
He warned that farmers across all sectors are facing an “increasingly” uncertain future.
Cullinan commented: “Increasing regulation, Brexit-related trade disruption, and the prospect of substantial cuts in direct payments due to CAP reforms means Irish farming is in a perilous position.”
“Now is the time for the government to step up and put action and money behind the rhetoric.”
Pre-Budget 2022 submission
Firstly, IFA seeks co-financing to ensure that Pillar II schemes are “properly funded”.
- Areas of Natural Constraint (ANCs);
- Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environmental Scheme (GLAS);
- Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS);
- Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP – suckler cows);
- Sheep Welfare Scheme;
- Organic Farming Scheme.
“We are seeking €300 per suckler cow, €30 per ewe and €300m for ANCs. In addition, we need a new scheme for tillage farmers to stop the exodus from this sector,” Cullinan said.
He pointed out that the government gave a clear commitment that it would ring-fence €1.5bn of carbon tax receipts for an agri-environment scheme, ‘REPS-2’. “We are still waiting for this commitment to be honoured.”
“IFA has made it clear that farmers are eager to be part of the climate solution. Accelerated capital allowances and Value-Added Tax (VAT) exemptions on the purchase of emissions-efficient investment will help farmers to play their role in contributing to the sector’s climate change targets,” said the IFA President.
Furthermore, he said renewal of the Young Trained Farmer Stamp Duty Relief post-2021 is also needed.
Taxation supports for farmers
IFA Farm Business Committee Chair Rose Mary McDonagh added:
“We need significant taxation supports, in particular through investment in emissions-efficient equipment and the removal of discrimination in our tax system for the self-employed.”
IFA rural development chairman, Michael Biggins, believes farm schemes must “remain a central part” of government policy, particularly for the low-income dry stock sector.
“Direct payments are a huge part of family farm incomes. Targeted schemes are increasingly important. Expenditure on TAMS is currently behind target, with approximately 60% of the revised allocation of €523m spent to date.”
“There needs to be increased flexibility along with the inclusion of additional qualifying investments to ensure all funding is drawn down.”
As part of IFA’s campaign, its officers will meet TDs & Senators at local level in the coming weeks.