The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is being called on to ensure that applicants to tranche 22 of the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes (TAMS) be included in the review of costings under the scheme.

Michael Biggins, the rural development chairperson for the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), speaking today (Wednesday, July 28) after a meeting with department officials, welcomed the outcome of the review, which was announced yesterday by Minister Charlie McConalogue.

The changes to the reference costings for grant-aid work under TAMS will be implemented from tranche 23, which commenced on July 24.

“Materials such as steel, timber and concrete have seen steep price increases this year – up to 40% in some cases.

“The costings increase means that farmers will receive a grant that reflects the investment costs incurred,” Biggins highlighted.

However, he called for tranche 22 applicants to be included, arguing they will take a financial hit if they are not.

“TAMS tranche 22 closed for applications on Friday last. All tranche 22 applicants should be included. To not do so will put them at a substantial financial disadvantage.”

The IFA rural development chair also called for a further review in due course if prices continue to increase.

“To keep pace with rising costs, this review must be repeated, and the findings be ready for implementation for the opening of tranche 24, which is due to open in November 2021,” he said.

Biggins added: “I’m calling on the Minister of Agriculture to ensure all applicants who have applied in tranche 22 get the opportunity to avail of the revised costings retrospectively.

“He must ensure that the costings are reviewed again for tranche 24 to keep pace with the current price inflation,” he concluded.

Costings review

Under the results of the review that were announced yesterday, building reference costs increased generally up to 10%, with larger increases seen for other items such as sheep fencing and mobile cattle crushes of 15-20%.

Direct constructional work by applicant, or applicant’s family member, increased from €13.50 to €14.85 per hour (+10%).

Some of the first items on the list such as concrete walls and floors saw rises of about 10%.