‘High tax and superlevy bills could cripple dairy farmers this year’

Dairy farmers will face high tax liabilities which will have to be paid out of low incomes this year, and a superlevy fine on top of this could cripple many farmers, IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Sean O’Leary has said.

According to O’Leary this will undoubtedly bring into question at least the timing of many farmers’ investment plans.

O’Leary said the dramatic 17.1% fall in December 2014 milk production, as published today (Friday) by CSO is a clear sign that dairy farmers are actively working on reducing their superlevy exposure.

He also said that in light of recent statements by EU Commissioner Phil Hogan and Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, it is crucial that no farmer would entertain expectations of concessions on superlevy, and instead continue their hard work on pulling back production over the next two months.

While O’Leary does not believe prices will turn out as bad as some have predicted for 2015, he said prices and margins are poor, and cash flow will be a major issue for most farmers this year.

According to O’Leary recent comments by both Commissioner Hogan and Minister Coveney have cast a stronger doubt on any concession on a softer landing.

“They must now both work hard to overcome political hostilities and deliver an extended payment schedule for liable farmers,” he added.

“It is crucial that, for the 2 months that are left in the 31st and final milk quota year, that farmers would continue their hard work in close collaboration with their advisors and their co-ops to reduce as much as possible their exposure to a potentially crippling fine,” he said.

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