Farmer groups lay out election agendas

IFA has made an 18-page submission to the political parties and Dáil candidates for the 2016 general election.
Farmer groups lay out election agendas

This document sets out the organisation’s targets of sufficient national funding for farm schemes that underpin farm incomes and agricultural production.

This includes calls for restoration of ANC (disadvantaged) payments and payment increases for the suckler herd to reach 200/cow/year — both of which Fianna Fáil has responded positively to.

IFA’s submission sets targets for the next Government in negotiations on international trade and climate change policy, and in the EU Common Agricultural Policy.

Under the heading of competitive production and marketing, IFA says the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission must guarantee primary producers full and open competition in the meat processing and rendering sectors.

It is seeking three-star animals to be accommodated in the Beef Data and Genomics Programme, and points to problems also with the BDGP six-year rule and stocking rate restrictions.

Under animal health, IFA wants an IBR programme funded and led by the Department of Agriculture, to protect market access for live exports. An EU-level fertiliser sector inquiry is another of IFA’s demands.

Among new taxation measures sought is rollover relief from CGT for land sold under CPO.

IFA wants the new government to address the high costs of registering a Legal Charge, as this prevents movement of customers between banks, and reduces competition.

It goes along with the existing government target of broadband speed of 30Mpbs for all premises by 2020.

IFA also has demands on post offices, rural roads, crime prevention, flooding, farm safety (it wants a PTO scrappage scheme, and says farm safety inspections must not be linked to cross-compliance), and the Fair Deal nursing home scheme (it wants to cap the charge on non-residential assets including farmland).

Meanwhile, all of the other main farming and rural interest groups have also outlined the main areas in which they have been seeking action and commitments from all general election candidates.

The ICMSA has urged voters to support candidates who will commit to gain a fairer share for farmers of the retail prices paid for food and drink products.

The ICSA is seeking better supports for energy crops and forestry in a bid to encourage lower emissions from agriculture.

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