Suspend carbon tax for farmers to balance rising feed costs: Gilmartin

Carbon taxes should be suspended for farmers facing soaring feed costs and prolonged silage shortages, said Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association president Gabriel Gilmartin.

He said the CSO’s latest data on agricultural prices underline the need to tackle the rise in farm input costs. The preliminary estimates for the Agricultural Price Indices 2012 indicate an input price increase of 4.2% compared to 2011 costs — mainly due to increases in energy costs and feedstuffs (8.6% and 5.5% respectively).

“Outputs increased by 3.6%, well behind the increase in production costs,” said Mr Gilmartin. “There are steps the Government can take to address the issue of steadily increasing input prices. We have argued that the taxes and duties on fuel in particular are not only a huge burden on farmers and other diesel-reliant businesses, but are damaging the Exchequer also, by causing those who can to purchase their fuel outside of the jurisdiction.”

ICSA wants a suspension of the carbon tax, which costs over 6c per litre on green diesel, or €20/tonne — up from €15/ tonne before May 1.

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