INHFA on Budget 2022
According to the newly elected president of the INHFA, there is no just-transition for agriculture in Budget 2022.
The farm group has expressed “major” disappointment on the budget details Ministers Donohoe and McGrath outlined.
INHFA leader, Vincent Roddy, said farmers will “rightly question” the government’s commitment to a just-transition on climate change and biodiversity loss when assessed against commitments made across other sectors.
In the budget, Minister McGrath detailed an increase in core spending of €4.2billion for the coming year.
Both ministers emphasised the “major” challenge climate change and biodiversity loss pose and outlined a budget increase of €858m to address this.
“Of this €858m increase, there is a commitment of an additional €152m for a just-transition.”
“However, it seems that none of this will go towards farming. Even though a lot of the heavy lifting will be left on the shoulders of farmers.”
He believes there is already a “compelling” case for a just-transition for farmers operating under the “burden” of land designations (SAC & SPA).
“These designations have been assessed at EU level to cost these farmers €150/ha/year in terms of lost productivity and increased regulation.”
“This stated was a major factor in our budget proposals where we outlined the need for an annual budget of €120m to ensure a just-transition for these farmers.”
“The fact that this continues to be ignored isn’t just an issue for the farmers concerned. It should stand as a warning to all farmers as we face increasing demands in meeting national obligations on climate change and biodiversity loss.”
Stamp duty, stock relief and VAT rate
Roddy welcomed the continuation of stamp duty and stock relief for young farmers. However, he expressed concern with the government’s decision to reduce the flat rate farmers’ VAT rate from 5.6% to 5.5%.
The farm group estimates that this move will cost Irish farmers €5.8m, while other organisation estimates are closer to €7m.
He acknowledged the roll-over of all current schemes, but “had hoped that additional supports would have been put in place for our suckler and sheep sectors”.
“In conclusion, such a high spending budget could not deliver anything new or significant to our farming communities.”