Farm construction shouldn’t be liable for the new 5% concrete levy introduced today (Friday, September 1), according to Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Farm Business chair, Rose Mary McDonagh.

McDonagh said the levy will act as a “disincentive” to farmers constructing something like additional slurry storage.

She added that a recent KPMG study found that the levy will add in the region of €1,000 to the cost of a typical silage slab.

“It makes no sense for the government to add a further 5% to cost of concrete at a time of inflated construction costs,” she said.

The IFA has requested a meeting with the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe to discuss possible alternatives to the current levy.

Concrete levy

According to the Department of Finance, precast products had originally been listed as being within the scope of the levy when the budget was announced.

Following further consideration, these were removed prior to the publication of what became Finance Act 2022.

In a statement to Agriland, the department said: “While such products are not within scope of the Defective Concrete Products Levy (DCPL), as noted above, the pouring concrete element which forms a constituent part of precast concrete products is within scope. 

McDonagh said the inclusion of precast products showed that “it’s clear that immediate changes are needed”.

“The right thing to do here is allow farmers reclaim any levy paid on construction work in the same manner as VAT is reclaimed,” McDonagh said.

The Irish Concrete Federation (ICF) has said it is ready to work “constructively” with the Minister for Finance on the 5% concrete levy, which was implemented today (Friday, September 1).

The federation continues to have “grave concerns” over the levy, but in recent days has tabled a “series of proposed measures” that it believes could assist with compliance across the industry.