Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT)
- Statement in Dail by An Taoiseach that the RZLT issue will need to be “fixed”.
- Continued engagement with senior politicians including at National Economic Dialogue in Dublin Castle on the issue and commitments given that a solution will be found.
- Letter sent to all Dail and Seanad members on this issue and requirement to find a speedy solution.
- Awaiting Senior Council opinion on this issue.
- Indication that decisions from An Bord Pleanála on appeals to them on inclusion in RZLT are now beginning to be issued.
DAFM have indicated that no more initiatives will be forthcoming to access BAR funding for primary agriculture, to date primary agriculture is set to receive c.€60m. This is simply not good enough and pressure needs to be exerted for further funding, especially with the fall in the prices received by farmers for their produce in 2023.
- Total fund of €1.1bn
- Processors receiving over €100m.
- €150/€200m to be returned to EU for use in RePowerEU, no commitment that this will be allocated back to Irish agriculture for use in areas such as on farm Anaerobic Digestion.
- C.€60m allocated to primary agriculture.
- Please see draft budget submission included in pack for further details.
Taxation of Renewables
- IFAC have been engaged to produce a paper on taxation of solar and wind leases and possible implications long term due to these leases.
- Concrete levy of 5% on “pouring concrete” (Readymix) is due to come in on 1 September 2023, this had been deferred in autumn 2022 after last budget.
- From analysis compiled by KPMG for the Irish Concrete Federation this will add almost €1,000 to the cost of a typical silage pit (c.150 metres of concrete).
Representatives of the Irish Banking Culture Board (IBCB) attended the Farm Business Committee meeting in early July. They spoke on the issues farmers have indicated to them that they are having in their relationships with banks, one of the biggest issues is the fact that there is no continuation of service whereby a farmer has a single point of contact, that they can build a relationship with over a period of time. Also, the length of the process to access finance and amount of information required when compared to local Credit unions was discussed.
The representatives committed to;
- Setting up a roundtable between representatives of the main banks lending to Agri and the committee to discuss these issues face to face.
- Option of IBCB attending the ploughing to further discuss these issues with IFA members.
Trip to Brussels
The farm business Committee had a trip to Brussels from Tuesday May 30th to Thursday June 1st. The committee had a number of meetings and other engagements during the trip including the following;
- Meeting with COPA representatives on Fertiliser including current prices, issues with Anti-Dumping levy and new EU Market Observatory.
- Meeting with COPA representatives who outlined how proposals start in the Commission, move through the Parliament and Council before final decisions in Trialogue.
- Meeting with DG Competition on exclusion of agriculture from competition rules in the new Sustainability rules, explanation of why and how it will work.
- Meetings with a number of Irish MEPs on issues such as Nature Restoration, Industrial Emissions and other proposals that will affect Irish agriculture coming from the EU.
- Discussions with Commissioner McGuiness on the EU Taxonomy and the Nature Restoration Law.
- Meeting with KBC Bank which covered how they are looking at sustainability in their lending book and the fact that farmers who can show more sustainable production methods will receive lower lending rates.
- A number of farm visits looking at production systems in Belgium and discussions on problems farmers in Belgium are currently facing.
- Attended COPA protest outside the EU Parliament on Nature Restoration Law where the IFA President spoke and a number of Irish MEPs attended.
Lobbying (main issues from Farm Business Committee perspective to highlight if having meetings with politicians)
- Residential Zoned Land Tax, need to have land which is genuinely farmed removed from this land hoarding tax.
- BAR Funding, primary agriculture must receive a fair allocation from BAR funding, the UK have and are signing trade deals which will have a direct negative long-term effect on farmers livelihoods, saying it is too late to access such funding for sectors vulnerable to shifts in the UK market is not good enough.
- Input Prices, the price of fertiliser has come down but price of other inputs remains at record levels. Pressure required to see fairness and transparency all along supply chain when it comes to input costs.
- Meeting Chairman of the Central Bank’s Consumer Advisory Group (CAG), Theodor Kockelkoren, to introduce himself, improve the CAG knowledge of the IFA and understand what IFA believe are the key issues for farmers, Friday September 8th.
- Budget lobbying day Wednesday September 13th, Buswells Hotel.