IFA President Tim Cullinan said farmers should be exempt from the concrete levy.
“Agflation is running at multiple times general inflation, so there’s huge frustration among farmers at the imposition of the 10% concrete levy as part of Budget 2023. This will further inflate the cost of doing business for farmers who are already dealing with a massive escalation in farm input costs,” he said.
Many farmers are required to install additional slurry and soiled water storage as part of the revised Nitrates Action Programme. Farmers are also choosing to invest in their farm infrastructure to reduce on-farm labour requirements and better utilise slurry due to the escalating cost of fertiliser.
Tim Cullinan said the concrete levy is a strong disincentive for farmers to invest in improving their farming facilities. A very large proportion of farm buildings consists of concrete, meaning that farmers are going to be disproportionately impacted by this levy.
“We believe it’s entirely justified that concrete used for farm construction, either in the form of precast or readymix, should be exempted from the levy. This will form a key part of our focus in advance of the Finance Bill in October,” he said.
According to the CSO, over the past two years, the price of readymix concrete has increased by 25% while the price of precast concrete has increased by 35%. Farm construction costs has increased massively as a result, and the concrete levy will further fuel this inflation.
IFA Farm Business Chair Rose Mary McDonagh said farmers have already been hit with huge increases in building materials, some of which have risen by nearly 50% in recent times.
“The Government should be supporting farmers to invest on their farms, not adding significantly to its overall cost,” she said.