28 Nov 2012
BUDGET DECISIONS MUST NOT HIT FARM SCHEMES – IFAUncategorized
IFA President John Bryan said the Budget decisions next week would be a defining moment as to whether the Government is serious about protecting jobs and services in agriculture to underpin growth in our economy.
John Bryan said, “Many farm families have lost a significant portion of their incomes through disproportionate cuts to farm schemes over recent Budgets. On top of this, farmers are facing a cut in their incomes this year of over €500m, or 22%, due to bad weather and rising input costs. Like all other families, they are being forced to pay more taxes and charges”. Farmers cannot be hit on the double again and John Bryan warned the Government there can be no further cuts to farm schemes in the Budget.
He said the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must ensure that any underspend of the agriculture budget this year is carried forward into 2013, and if he needs to make cuts, he must look elsewhere other than farm schemes. “It is critical that funding is maintained for Disadvantaged Areas, the Suckler Cow Scheme, REPS, AEOS, forestry and the TAMS programme for on-farm investment in 2013. The Government’s expenditure and taxation decisions must support primary production, which underpins economic growth.”
“Farm fragmentation presents a serious challenge for Irish agriculture and undermines efficient farm production. A major remaining obstacle to land mobility is the capital gains tax that applies on the disposal of farmland. To increase farm efficiency, reduce costs and increase farm output, the Government must introduce relief from Capital Gains Tax relief on land disposals undertaken for the purpose of farm consolidation and for land that has been sold under CPO and subsequently replaced.”
The IFA President said, “Over the past year, the agri-food sector has delivered real employment growth, with potential for further expansion and employment creation in the coming years. Agriculture contributes to economic activity in every part of Ireland and is of particular importance to the rural economy. This must be reflected in the Budget decisions next week”.