‘Unanswerable case’ made for dairy income stability measure

An “unanswerable case” has been made for the introduction of a farm management deposit scheme, according to the Irish Creamery Milk Supplers’ Association (ICMSA).

President of the ICMSA Pat McCormack commented following the deadline for the consultation on the implementation of the Agri-taxation Review 2014 and Income Stabilisation and Taxation.

The president said his organisation is “quietly optimistic” that an “indisputable case” has been made for the introduction such a scheme, designed to deal with farmer income volatility.

McCormack said that the operation of such a scheme is now a matter of urgency and must form part of next October’s Budget 2019.

“We can and will move our farming and agri-food sector forward – but that can only be done fairly and sustainably on the basis of policies and instruments that deal with the kind of ruinous price and income volatility that has proved so destructive in recent years,” he said.

“Budget 2019 must provide for the necessary adjustments to current agri-taxation policy and, specifically, must include a suitable income volatility management tool.

The extent of the damage inflicted by extreme volatility in milk price in recent years has been clearly documented and demonstrated.

Continuing, McCormack added: “We desperately need some financial tool that will help farmers to manage the inherent volatility within the sector, especially during years of low milk prices.

“This is the ICMSA’s number one priority for this budget and comes on foot of our efforts over the last number of years where the ICMSA has been urging everyone to move on this long overdue issue.

“The solution has now been identified and it is squarely within the power of Ministers Donohue and Creed to recognise the answer and bring it forward in Budget 2019,” he said.