26 Jul 2017
IFA OPPOSES DEVELOPMENT CONTRIBUTION CHARGES FOR FARMS IN KERRY
Kerry IFA Chairman Patrick O’Driscoll has expressed disappointment at the decision by Kerry County Council to impose development contribution charges on new farm buildings.
Patrick O’Driscoll said IFA had lobbied Kerry County Councillors on this issue and succeeded in achieving an exemption on up to 250m2. However, he said, IFA remains totally opposed to any contributions being imposed on new farm buildings, in light of the importance of agriculture to the rural economy and the very low incomes in the agriculture sector.
He said, “Any increase in costs will stifle the development of the agriculture and food industry in Co. Kerry and jeopardise the existing jobs in the sector.
“Agriculture is of huge economic importance to Co. Kerry. More than 9,500 people are employed directly at farm level, while and thousands of jobs in the county are linked to the agriculture sector. To maintain growth an efficiency in farming, farm enterprises require regular re-investment to improve the efficiency of their operation.”
“Any introduction of development charge will prevent farmers from undertaking necessary investments, some of which would be to comply with environmental legislation, quality assurance schemes and/or health and safety.”
In addition, he said it is inappropriate to impose the standard rate of development contributions on intensive agricultural use pig and poultry farms, “There should be no distinction between intensive pig and poultry farmers and other more extensive farm enterprise types, as these farmers are engaged in primary agricultural production and not semi-agricultural/commercial enterprises.”