Reacting to the publication of The National Recovery Plan, IFA President John Bryan said the role that agriculture and the food sector can play in the economic recovery of the country has been acknowledged in the plan.
John Bryan said agri-foods exports will increase by €750m, or 12%, this year and the potential identified in <i>Food Harvest 2020 Report will continue to drive export growth and jobs. “The farm schemes and taxation measures are critical to the sector’s growth and the Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith must ensure that they are fully maintained in the Budget next month.”
He said, “the Government must ensure that an AEOS replacement for those farmers leaving REPS is put in place. The allocation for 2011 will be inadequate if the Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith does not pay all outstanding payments to farmers this year. It is vital that agriculture’s capital commitments in 2011 are met. The Minister can do this by paying out the €120m owed to 17,000 farmers as part of the Farm Waste Management Scheme before the end of the year.”
The IFA President said the broadening of the tax base and reduction in services will impact very negatively on all farm families, particularly those on low incomes. He said the proposal to double the carbon tax will have a further damaging effect on the export-led, agri-food sector. The increase in VAT rates must be fully reflected in the VAT flat-rate refund to farmers.