Budget must deliver tax and funding measures for sector

Tomorrow’s budget must deliver funding for farm schemes and taxation measures to support the growth of the agriculture sector, according to the Irish Farmers Association.

Eddie Downey, president, said it is critical that funding is targeted at sectors that can provide a real return to the economy. “Funding for farm schemes will support farm incomes, underpin output and drive on-farm investment.

“Ireland needs a balanced economic recovery, and funding for agriculture will provide a direct stimulus to the rural economy,” he said.

IFA Rural Development Committee chairman Flor McCarthy said there are 17,000 farmers leaving the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS) this year, with thousands more having exited in 2013.

The budget allocation for agriculture must provide sufficient funding for the Glas scheme to provide for the opening of applications for the scheme later this year with a full payment for 30,000 farmers in 2015.

Mr McCarthy said capital expenditure is critically important for the continued development of agriculture, and provides a measurable boost to economic activity.

There is a requirement for an ambitious programme of on-farm investment across all sectors, with additional capital funding required for the horticulture, forestry and aquaculture sectors, all of which are contributing to increased employment.

IFA chairman Tom Doyle said the agri-taxation review must provide a roadmap for addressing the structural challenges in farming and achieving growth potential.


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