Budget Submissions

IFA Presents pre-Budget Priorities to Minister for Agriculture

IFA President Tim Cullinan led a delegation to meet the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConologue yesterday afternoon to discuss farmers’ priorities for Budget ’24.

“At the outset, we made it clear to the Minister that his plan to delay payments to farmers this year is totally unacceptable, This must be revisited,” he said. 

Tim Cullinan said the focus of the delegation was on the measures needed to combat deflated output prices and inflationary pressures, and to restore viability to low-income farms.

“Pressures still exist on-farm due to high input costs. We discussed a number of initiatives that Minister McConalogue could put to his colleague, Minister for Finance Michael McGrath,” he said.

IFA Farm Business Chair Rosemary McDonagh says that the Minister must ensure all agri tax reliefs are renewed.

“The Minister was clear that the Government is committed to reliefs that are in place and that he was not aware of any proposals within Government to reduce them or curtail them,” she said.


“The Minister also said he was committed to working with the Minister for Finance to ‘fix’ the Zoned Residential Land Tax issue for actively farmed land,” she said.

The issue of 0% VAT on all non-oral animal medicines and vaccines was also raised and the Minister agreed that this is something that he will look at. 

IFA Rural Development Chairman Michael Biggins raised, amongst other issues, the need for additional funding to be made available for all applicants in Tranche 2 of ACRES to be accepted; the need for all applicants to be paid in full in the suckler cow efficiency programme (SCEP); along with the opening of a national suckler scheme to replace BEEP-s and the provision for this scheme in next year’s budgetary allocation.

Detailed proposals were also put forward for €100 calf rearing and beef sustainability payments and supports for tillage farmers who are facing a very difficult year.

He also emphasised the need for swift and full payment for all applicants to the National Liming scheme, and for its rollover and increased budget in 2024, to meet the enormous interest among farmers.

Michael Biggins also highlighted the huge challenges in the sheep sector and the need for the Sheep Improvement Scheme to be increased to €30/ewe, with incentives for store lamb finishers. 

“These are vital for schemes for the low-income sectors and the Government must deliver on these to keep economic activity in rural Ireland,” he said.

The IFA delegation also included the National Livestock and Sheep Chairs Brendan Golden and Kevin Comiskey who emphasised the critical need of increasing the support for suckler cows and ewes to €300 and €30/head respectively.

In conclusion, Tim Cullinan said that the IFA had also raised the need for Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) funding to be allocated to the beef and sheep sectors.

“NZ and Australian imports are already coming into the UK and displacing Irish product. This is a direct result of Brexit. The Government must ensure BAR funding is allocated to the beef and sheep sectors before the end of this year. Giving the money back to the EU would be a scandal,” he said.

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