Launching the IFA’s pre-Budget submission in Dublin, IFA President Eddie Downey said the next budget must deliver for farm families.
He also pointed to the necessity for funding to support the new Rural Development Plan (RDP); a reduction in the tax burden on working families and new tax measures to support farm restructuring and income volatility.
“Despite the difficulties this year, especially on livestock and tillage farms, the sector continues to deliver positive growth in food exports and jobs, which is a real and sustainable return on the Government’s investment in agriculture,” added Mr Downey.
“Funding for farm schemes underpins farm incomes and output, especially in vulnerable sectors and regions. Under the new RDP for the period 2014-2020, there is an overall allocation of €2.1bn in EU funding and €1.9bn in national funding. Over €500m of funding for RDP farm schemes must be provided in this October’s budget to pay out on a range of farm schemes next year.”
Mr Downey went on to say that IFA would present its budget proposals to the Oireachtas Committees this week. “We will be emphasising that, while farming is facing significant challenges at the moment, the right government supports in this year’s Budget will underpin growth, which is making a major contribution to economic recovery, especially across rural Ireland,” he added.
Proposals include the commencement of contracts for the new agri-environmental GLAS scheme in early 2015, with 30,000 farmers allowed into the scheme in its first year and payments made in 2015; Allocation of €30m for the TAMS scheme in 2015 to fund on-farm investment programmes across all sectors; Funding of €52m for the Beef Data & Genomic Scheme to support the vulnerable suckler sector; Increased capital funding allocations for the horticulture, forestry and aquaculture sectors to achieve output targets and employment growth.