IFA President John Bryan addressed the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture this morning (Thurs), where he outlined IFA’s pre-Budget issues, including the importance of farm schemes and taxation measures that support the development of the sector.
Mr Bryan said, “Like all other families, farm families have been negatively impacted by increased taxes and charges and reduced services, and will be affected by any new taxes in the budget. They cannot be hit on the double by further cuts to farm schemes. There is no justification for this in Budget 2013”.
The IFA President said, “Farming is experiencing a very difficult year in 2012, through a combination of dreadful weather, soaring input costs and the impact of previous substantial cuts to farm schemes. In last year’s Budget, funding for farm schemes was significantly reduced, with a cut in funding for the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme and a 10% cut in funding for REPS”.
He said, “IFA believes that the maintenance of funding for farm schemes must be prioritised in the Agriculture Budget 2013. In addition, it is important that existing taxation measures that support restructuring, farm investment, consolidation and land mobility are retained”.
Mr Bryan said, “It is critical that funding is maintained for Disadvantaged Areas, REPS, AEOS, forestry and the TAMS programme for on-farm investment in 2013. The Suckler Cow Scheme must be continued in 2013, to build on the improvements in herd quality delivered by the scheme to date”.
On farm taxation, Mr Bryan said, “To achieve the <i>Food Harvest 2020 </i>growth targets, farm restructuring is required. It is important that existing taxation measures that support farm transfer, investment and land mobility are retained in Budget 2013, and where restrictions in existing measures are proving a barrier to the development of the sector, these should be extended. In particular, the IFA is asking the Government to facilitate farm consolidation and improve land mobility”.
The IFA President said the growth in agriculture and agri-food in 2010 and 2011 demonstrates the ability of the sector to respond positively to market signals and contribute to economic recovery through increased earnings and job creation. “There remains huge potential for the sector to continue this growth and to capture the opportunities presented by a growing global population and increasing demand for sustainably-produced food.