The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) has said that costings for the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) II are becoming “increasingly fictional”.
The scheme aims to provide farmers with grant aid to improve and/or build a specific range of farm buildings or purchase equipment that may benefit their farm businesses and the environment.
Chairperson of ICMSA Farm and Rural Affairs Committee, Denis Drennan said that costings under the TAMS II programme were already out-of-date and inadequate before the current spike in inflation.
Given the significant increase in construction costs, Drennan said the TAMS costings are now “fully disconnected from reality”.
“Famers cannot wait until Tranche 26 opens in April, the current costings were developed in March 2021 and were questionable even then.
“There must be a degree of progress on this issue because we’ve repeatedly pointed out that so far from closing the gap between actual costs and the increasingly fictional costings set out in TAMS, the gap appears to be widening,” Drennan outlined.
The ICMSA chair explained that the TAMS costings “in no way reflect the current costs of materials” in the spring of 2022.
“Some of our members have been quoted prices in excess of 40% above the reference costings.
“We all know that our dairy farmers have to engage with the environmental issues and ICMSA fully supports that engagement, but that means operating TAMS on a realistic level and making it fit-for-purpose.
“It is not fit-for-purpose right now, and it has not been for some time. Only the department [of agriculture, food and the marine] can fix that, and they need to get to grips with a problem that is completely obvious and completely within their control,” Drennan concluded.