IFA Farm Business Chairman James Kane has criticised the proposal by Retail Ireland to equalise the excise rates on diesel.
He said, “IFA has serious concerns about any attempt to raise the price of agricultural diesel for farmers and agricultural contractors. It would have a negative impact on cashflow, putting pressure on the viability of small businesses, particularly given the restricted access to working capital by the banks. In addition, any rebate system would impose significant additional paperwork and compliance costs on farmers.”
He said, “While proposals that could potentially curb the illegal laundering of diesel must be considered, this particular proposal takes no account of the likely difficulties, and costs of policing and administering a rebate system. On the other hand, the proposal to introduce a robust marker to agricultural gas oil that is easily detected by Revenue is a positive and practical suggestion.”
He concluded, “It does not make sense to target the excise rate that applies to agricultural diesel. The current system is an important element in maintaining the competitiveness of our sector, and any disruption would damage it.”