IFA President Eddie Downey held a meeting with the leader of the opposition, Micheal Martin, at which he briefed the Fianna Fail leader on a range of issues for farmers, including the beef crisis, trade talks, the review of taxation reliefs and CAP implementation.
On the beef crisis, Eddie Downey sought support from Micheal Martin on the need for the removal of labelling that would allow an increase in live exports.
The IFA President also raised farmer concerns with regard to trade talks with the US. Eddie Downey said equivalence of standards and end-use control, and proper independent monitoring and testing, have to be central to any future trade deals that increase access into the EU for agricultural produce.
He said the real concern for Irish agriculture and livestock farmers in relation to EU trade negotiations is the threat from future deals with Mercosur and the US, under TTIP.
On CAP, Mr Downey said the key message from IFA would be that the rules around the implementation have to be resolved quickly and farmers advised of their situation following the reform.
Eddie Downey said the current review of agri-taxation measures, which was announced in Budget 2014, will have to take full account of the expansion plans in the agricultural sector.
He said, “Farmers are gearing up to spend over up to €2bn on their farm enterprises over a short period of time which will drive growth in employment and export earnings. However, this is going to put huge pressure on farm cashflows and IFA will be pushing for increased stock relief measures and accelerated capital allowances to allow farmers expand in a viable way”.
Micheal Martin pledged to support IFA on these issues.