As Minister announces final Superlevy bill ICMSA calls again for ‘standardised calculating formula’ for quota updates
Commenting on the Minister of Agriculture, Food & Marine’s announcement that Ireland was 0.69% over quota and will suffer a superlevy fine of approximately €11m, Pat McCormack, Deputy President and Chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee, said that this will present significant challenges for the farmers involved and that Co-ops and their banks must actively assist farmers where cash-flow issues arise as a result of the superlevy.
Looking forward, Mr. McCormack said that it is essential that the Department and Co-ops agree a consistent and standardised calculating formula for reporting the quota position throughout the year. He described as ‘unacceptable’ the position experienced during 2011/2012 quota year where we had significant divergences between the Department and Co-ops figures with the Department figures being finally proved to be the more accurate. He said that those with responsibility in this area must realise how essential it is that an agreed procedure is put in place that eliminates the inconsistencies for the 2012/13 quota year.
“Farmers also need to be aware that there is only one more quota increase of a single per cent due on 1 April 2013 between now and quota abolition in 2015 and that ensures that superlevy is going to remain a major challenge between now and then – most particularly in the context of increased cow numbers. As of now, it is highly unlikely that further quota increases will be forthcoming during the period in question. We would remind Co-ops that they do not have to pay super levy fines until 1 September and the collection of fines needs to recognise this. In that context, it’s worth noting that some Co-ops have been deducting fines from some farmers since last summer and ICMSA would point out that if a farmer owes a Co-op a bill, the Co-op charges interest on the amount outstanding. Given that Co-ops have been deducting money from farmers for the purpose of paying fines not due till next September it seems only fair that the interest on those deducted monies should be payable to the farmers concerned”, concluded Mr. McCormack.
Ends. 25 April 2012.
Pat McCormack, 087-7608958
Deputy President of ICMSA and Chairman of the Dairy Committee
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office