In advance of this week’s Budget, IFA President John Bryan said funding for all farm schemes must be protected in next week’s Budget, given the very difficult income situation on farms.
John Bryan said, “The impact of rising input costs and the atrocious weather conditions will still be felt well into next year on farms. Feed costs, in particular, will continue to have a negative effect on farm incomes and cashflow is already becoming a serious problem”. In discussions with Minister Coveney, John Bryan said the Government must send a supportive signal to farm families, and the protection of all farm schemes is critical.
He said, “The recovery in farm incomes through 2010 and 2011 has come to an abrupt halt this year. IFA estimates that farm incomes will be back 22% or over €500m this year, underlining the importance of farm schemes. The Minister must be mindful of the pressure on farm families and insist around the Cabinet table that no further cuts are imposed”.
On measures to support land mobility, the IFA Farm Business Chairman Tom Doyle said, “Farm fragmentation presents a serious challenge for Irish agriculture and undermines efficient farm production. A major remaining obstacle to land mobility is the capital gains tax that applies on the disposal of farmland. To increase farm efficiency, reduce costs and increase farm output, the Government must introduce relief from Capital Gains Tax relief on land disposals undertaken for the purpose of farm consolidation and for land that has been sold under CPO and subsequently replaced”.
He said, “Government must maintain other important measures for farm transfer and land mobility, including Stamp Duty Relief for Young Trained Farmers, and the tax exemption for long term land leasing. For farmers who are expanding, it is critical that stock relief is retained and the 50% Stock Relief for Milk Production Partnerships is extended to registered farm partnerships in other enterprises”.
Tom Doyle repeated IFA’s opposition to any proposal to equalise the excise rates for agricultural diesel. He said, “IFA has always argued that the marked diesel system must be retained. In order to tackle the problem of illegal fuel laundering, a robust, non-removable, marker for agricultural diesel is critical, in addition to the licensing system for Marked Gas Oil that was introduced in 2011. These measures will reduce the volume of illegally-traded fuel, while at the same time underpinning the competitiveness of our agriculture and agri-food sector”.