IFA President Tim Cullinan said it was extraordinary to hear Taoiseach Micheál Martin this morning dismiss an independent report by KPMG into the impact of emissions ceilings on farming as ‘scaremongering’, while the Government hasn’t done an economic impact assessment themselves.
Tim Cullinan said the report commissioned by the Irish Farmers Journal, and carried out by KPMG, shows what the economic impact of various sectoral emissions ceilings would be, including the 21-30% range reported to be the ceiling for agriculture the Government is planning to impose.
The conclusion is that a 21% emissions cut would result in 10,000 job losses, while a 30% cut would result in over 56,000 job losses and reduced output of nearly €4bn.
“We have repeatedly asked for such an exercise to be carried out by our Government, but they have refused to do so. Micheál Martin is shooting in the dark and he has no idea what the economic or social impact of these ceilings will be in rural areas,” he said.
“If anything, the KPMG report might underestimate the impact of carbon budgets on farmers as it does not factor in the cost increases for energy and transport which farmers will also have to carry,” he said.
“The question the Taoiseach needs to answer is: if he doesn’t agree with the KPMG analysis, what impact does he think the Government’s proposed emissions ceilings will have on the sector?” he said.
The IFA President said farmers are genuinely concerned about what this will mean for their livelihoods and they have been looking for straight answers which tell them what they could be facing.
“I want to re-iterate again that the Government should stop trying to communicate with farmers over the airwaves, or indeed across mart rings, Instead, they should sit down with elected farm leaders to make a proper plan for the sector,” he said.