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IFA National Livestock Committee Chairman Angus Woods said it is not acceptable that hundreds of farmers are still due their BDGP suckler payments because the Department of Agriculture has not yet carried out inspections under the scheme.

IFA has taken up the matter with the Department of Agriculture & insisted on immediate payment.

Angus Woods called on the Minister for Agriculture to cut through the red tape and bureaucratic delays around Department inspections and remove the blockage on all outstanding BDGP payments owed to suckler farmers.

He said, “Suckler farmers are on their knees financially and it is not acceptable that some farmers are still waiting on their BDGP payments, just because the Department have not got round to carrying out the inspections”.

The IFA Livestock leader pointed out that the Department had all of 2018 to carry out the inspections and under the Charter of Rights payments are due in mid-December.

TRADE

UNNECESSARY DEPARTMENT RESTRICTIONS ON MOVEMENTS COULD DAMAGE THE CALF TRADE – IFA

IFA President Joe Healy said the IFA has strongly outlined farmer objections and concerns over the imposition of unnecessary restrictions on the farm-to-farm movements put forward by the Dept of Agriculture.

“Ahead of the peak sale time for calves, these restrictions by the Department could damage the trade in a year when we need to see the doubling of numbers exported. We should be removing obstacles, not adding them.”

IFA has previously raised objections with the Department of Agriculture and pointed out that the changes to the farm-to-farm movement of animals fails to recognise the practical reality of the marketplace.

IFA National Animal Health Chairman Pat Farrell said while the majority of calves sold are over 10 days of age, the Department must facilitate the movement of young calves to farms where a replacement calf is needed for a suckler cow.

In relation to the shortening of the validity period of farm-to-farm compliance certificate and the requirement to identify the destination herd, this will impact on the functioning of the market, especially for farmers who are reliant on the paper-based system.

Pat Farrell said applying both changes is unnecessary, particularly the requirement to identify the destination herd at the time of application as this will interfere directly with the market.

IFA has again called on Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and the Department to reconsider the changes.

IFA Farm Business Chairman Martin Stapleton has said it’s vital that all possible actions are taken to stop AIB and Rabobank from selling further farm loans to unregulated vulture funds.  “Our view is that by selling these loans, banks which approved the loans in the first place are abdicating their responsibilities by throwing their customers to the wolves,” he said.

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With significant additional resources available to the Government for Budget 2019 and talk of economic overheating and ‘rainy day’ funds, the IFA President Joe Healy said Agriculture Minister Michael Creed must deliver for farming and rural areas.

He said “This Government has to show that it is not all about Dublin and that they are in touch with rural Ireland. They can demonstrate this in tomorrow’s Budget with real measures to tackle low farm incomes”.

Joe Healy said in a strong Budget campaign, the IFA has prioritised additional support for sucklers, an increase in ANC payments, the Earned Income Tax Credit to match the PAYE tax credit, Fair Deal and the extension of reliefs to support investment in the sector.

He said “While there can be debates about how best to support the low-income sectors, it is essential that Minister Creed secures substantial additional funding to support farmers”.

IFA President Joe Healy has acknowledged the move by the Government today to remove the upper age limit for family transfers as it reduces the stamp duty liability from 6% to 1%. “This adjustment will allow more families to carry out a lifetime transfer at the rate of 1% rather than the 6% rate.”

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