Changing the agricultural diesel tax rate a ‘lunatic proposal’

The proposed changes of the green diesel tax rate by the Environmental Pillar has been labelled a ‘lunatic proposal’ by the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA).

In its pre-Budget submission the Environmental Pillar,  which is an advocacy coalition of 28 environmental groups, said that the changes to the tax rate is now ‘appropriate’.

Currently, an income tax deduction is allowed for computing the profits of a farming trade to offset the increased costs of green diesel used in that trade which are attributable to the increase in the rate of carbon tax from May 1, 2012.

In response to the proposed changes to the tax deduction, ICSA has said that it essentially suggests that we should all go back to the scythe and pitchfork.

It has asked are they seriously advocating an Amish lifestyle on a global level in order to feed the world?

ICSA Rural Development chairman Seamus Sherlock has expressed total shock at the proposal by the Environmental Pillar to change the tax treatment of green diesel which means that the cost of a litre of agricultural diesel could double.

Sherlock said that while this proposal was way out, there is a real risk of auto diesel prices going up in the budget arising from taxation changes.

ICSA is totally opposed to any changes which would make diesel as expensive as petrol because diesel is the fuel which transports all inputs and outputs in our agri-food export sector.

“All proposals to increase diesel taxes on a unilateral basis in Ireland represent a spectacular own-goal in terms of competitiveness.

“As an exporting nation on the periphery of Europe these dangerous flights of fancy must be opposed by all sensible politicians,” he said.

It is accepted globally that agricultural diesel should be heavily discounted because agricultural machinery uses large quantities of diesel to harvest silage and cereals, as well as cultivating land, ICSA has said.

The association has said that this is the reality of food production and it represents a method of supplying food at the lowest cost in the most efficient manner.

The proposal would also be a security risk as diesel stored on farmyards would then be unmarked and twice as expensive, according to ICSA.