Independent TD, Mattie McGrath, has rowed in behind the FCI’s call for the government to abolish carbon tax on agricultural diesel for farm contractors, forestry contractors and farmers.
The deputy told the Dáil that if the government does not that this “meaningful action,” then we “will not have a harvest and we will not have silage”.
He said: “I ask that this be done for five years at least. This is a wartime situation, as the minister referred to himself.”
“However, this was coming down the tracks anyway ever before that.”
Abolish carbon tax
Last week, we reported that the FCI called on the government to immediately remove carbon tax from all MGO (green diesel) contractors use for the next five years.
It has outlined that such a move would:
- Allow “adequate” time for the international machine development and supply sector to provide alternatives to Internal Combustion Engines (ICE). The body suggested these could come in the form of “market-ready” zero-carbon systems to meet the Climate Action Plan’s objectives.
- Reduce costs.
Ring-fence ag diesel
Furthermore, McGrath also urged the government to ring-fence over 200 million litres of agricultural diesel to harvest silage, corn and crops.
He told the house that we also need it [ag diesel] for ordinary farm work and forestry work that has to be carried out because we have a shortage of timber already”.
“Are we going to have a shortage of everything? If we do not manage this properly, there will be chaos.”
He accused the government of “crippling” farmers and contractors and stressed that it must deal with this matter “meaningfully”.
Ag contractors facing ‘an awful dilemma’
Meanwhile, independent TD, Michael Healy-Rae, has declared that with “massive” increases in fertiliser costs, agricultural contractors are “facing an awful dilemma”.
At this point, he said the only support farmers and agricultural contractors have received from government is “2c by way of the rebate scheme”.
He told the house that “any day of the week, one now has to put €650 worth of agricultural diesel into a tractor that will be mowing or going hard all day”.
“It is impossible for these contractors to say that they are going to be able to provide a service to farmers – their customers – this year.”