IFA President John Bryan has strongly criticised the Small Firms Association for its suggestion to impose commercial rates on the farming sector, which supports 300,000 jobs and thousands of small businesses around the country.
John Bryan said, “Farm buildings, which are those linked to primary agricultural production, are not located in towns and cities, and therefore do not benefit from the services provided for commercial buildings in urban areas. Where related activities are located in urban centres, such as buildings that provide for the sale of agricultural products, these do pay commercial rates.”
He said, “Farming is a capital intensive business that generates modest incomes for farm families, and the SFA policy is misguided and shows a clear disconnect with their members who are located outside the large urban centres.”
John Bryan said, “SFA would be better employed to concentrate whatever capacity it has on representing its own members and not proposing solutions that increase costs for other sectors. This can only damage the viability of thousands of small businesses dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods.”