ICMSA say farm families paying for Croke Park “Don’t Touch” guarantees
The ICMSA President, John Comer, said that, taken as a whole, farmers and the wider agri-sector would consider the Budget to be regressive and to have added to the serious problems already facing farmers.
In relation to the taxation measures, Mr Comer said that while the introduction of roll-over relief for Capital Gains Tax Purposes in relation for farm restructuring is a welcome development, the reduction in the thresholds for Capital Acquisitions Tax and the increased rate to 33% will act as a further barrier to farm transfer in many cases. The reduction in the VAT rebate from 5.2% to 4.8% will also directly impact on farm incomes in 2014, he observed.
“On farm schemes which are of huge importance to farm incomes, the reduction from 34ha to 30ha for the Disadvantaged Area Scheme will be a blow to many farmers dependent on farming for their income and farming difficult land. In relation to the Suckler Cow Scheme, it is clear that farmers are paying for this scheme themselves through a reduced Single Farm Payment and all farmers have seen this in the SFP payment this week where a linear reduction was applied for both 2011 and 2012. It’s also disappointing that the payment for the Dairy Efficiency Scheme for existing participants has not been continued”, said the ICMSA President.
Set against the intense downward pressures on farm incomes this year, the Budget has done nothing to alleviate the situation and will simply add to farmers’ woes, said the ICMSA President.
“ Once again, the safeguards and “Don’t T ouch” guarantees given to the most privileged and protected sections of Ireland’s workforce are being paid for by the likes of farm families – already earning substantially lower average incomes – who will now see their own payments cut yet again. The untenable nature of the Croke Park Agreement had been illustrated yet again and its core principle underlined: “Those who are already untouchable will remain untouchable and all the rest must take the pain. In the meantime, farm families participating in schemes like DAS are now bracing themselves for their third cut in the same period. It is grossly unfair”, said Mr Comer.
Ends 5 December 2012.
John Comer, 087-2057846
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office