IFA review body backs continued collection of levies to fund organisation

An IFA review committee, which was established to consider the Lucey Report, has recommended that levy collection, along with membership fees, are the fairest ways to fund the organisation.

IFA Executive Council met today in Dublin and received a report from the Implementation Committee. The Committee was established last December to consider the Lucey Report and its recommendations.

Today, members of the Council were presented with a review of the funding model for IFA. The review was announced by the President Joe Healy at the AGM on April 27. Healy said a strong and well-resourced Association is vital to provide the representation and service that farmers rely upon.

The outcome of the review found that the joint membership and levy system is the fairest and most appropriate mechanism for funding the Association and maintaining services to farmers.

It says that the current system allows farmers to contribute, proportionately and fairly, based on the size of their farm and value of their output.

The Executive Council said the Implementation Committee was carrying out more work to develop a detailed package of measures. It says this will help strengthen transparency and governance in response to the Lucey Report and submissions made by members.

A statement from IFA tonight said that the Committee will continue to update the Executive Council on its work on an ongoing basis.

IFA Levy Income

Earlier this year the IFA forecast that it will lose 12% of its income from levies this year, valued at approximately €564,000.

Figures presented by the Association in March showed that 300 people had requested refunds of their levies, which would make up part of the €564,000 reduction.

The IFA has been collecting levies from farmers worth €4.7m each year, which it describes as voluntary.

During the Presidential election debates, Joe Healy and the other candidates were repeatedly pressed on the issue of IFA collecting levies, and all committed to reviewing the funding of the organisation, but none to scrapping them.