IFA discusses pre-budget submission with finance minister
The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has held an online meeting with the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, the Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath and the Minister of State at the Department of Finance Patrick O’Donovan today (September 14) to discuss its pre-budget submission.
President of the IFA Tim Cullinan says: “While we fully understand the challenges facing the exchequer arising from Covid-19, the shadow of Brexit is creating massive uncertainty for farmers.
Government support for the sector was never more important.
“While a €5 billion contingency fund has been set aside at EU level, our government will have to step up to the plate also,” he said.
“We are facing at least a one-year Common Agriculture Policy [CAP] transition, and the funding for farm schemes will have to be maintained. They are a vital part of farm incomes, and they also underpin investment in the sector,” he added.
Rosemary McDonagh said the delegation also raised the importance of the range of reliefs.
“The renewal of consolidation and consanguinity stamp duty reliefs are crucial to encourage generational renewal. Both of these need to be renewed this year, and we need the PAYE self-employed allowance equalised fully.
“All the tax reliefs for agriculture must remain in place,” she concluded.
IFA rural development chairman Michael Biggins said that farmers need certainty concerning vital farm schemes.
“A lot of these schemes have an environmental component and are critical supports for farm incomes. We need a clear commitment from government that these schemes will be maintained during the CAP transition phase, whether that lasts for one or two years,” he said.
“Investment in farming gives a real return to the rural economy, and we believe farmers and the agricultural sector can play a major part in the economic recovery,” he said.