Launching the IFA’s pre-Budget 2021 submission, its president, Tim Cullinan, said that farm schemes, Brexit supports and a carbon tax exemption for agri-diesel were the critical elements of IFA’s pre-Budget submission.
‘We have targets for all the agri-schemes including; seeking payment of €300 per suckler cow, €30 per ewe and €300m for ANCs,’ he said.
‘The Government must acknowledge the imminent threat of Brexit. In 2019, €110m was set aside for a Brexit reserve.
This fund must increase in Budget 2021. The €5bn contingency fund at EU level is essential, but we need our Government to be willing to help farmers too,’ he added.
On carbon tax, IFA is calling for an exception for agri-diesel: ‘The purpose of the carbon tax is to change behaviour, but farmers do not have an alternative to fossil-fuelled tractors. There should be an exemption from carbon tax on agri-diesel until alternatives become available,’ said the IFA president.
‘Stamp duty reliefs, specifically consanguinity and consolidation relief, are due to be renewed this year - it is vital that this happens to encourage farm transfer and generational renewal,’ he said.
IFA Farm Business Committee chair, Rose Mary McDonagh, said: ‘In our pre-Budget submission, IFA put forward proposals based on the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental and social. Our message to Government between now and October is that the sustainable growth of our sector needs policies that encourage investment at farm level, recognise the role of agriculture in achieving balanced regional development and deliver viable farm incomes.
‘There is a significant need for taxation supports, in particular through investment in emissions efficient equipment and the removal of discrimination in our tax system for the self-employed.’
The IFA’s Rural Development chairman, Michael Biggins, said farm schemes must remain a central part of Government policy, particularly for the low-income dry stock sector.
‘Direct payments are a huge part of family farm incomes. Targeted schemes are increasingly important, many of which have a significant climate action element,’ he said.
As part of IFA’s campaign, officers will meet TDs and senators in the coming weeks at a local level. Then, on Wednesday, September 16th, IFA will hold its national lobbying day while adhering to all national guidelines regarding Covid-19.