Sep 112017

The ICMSA have met Minister Pascal Donohoe at the Department of Finance today to brief him on several issues that they have described as “hugely important to farmers and the wider agri-sector” in advance of next month’s Budget. Deputy President, Pat McCormack, said that much focus would go on the long-standing question of equalising Earned Income Credit between the PAYE and self-employed sectors, as well as Exchequer funding of schemes like TAMS and the agri-environmental scheme GLAS.  Mr. McCormack said that the opportunity to look and positively address the problems around farm transfers and making the taxation system work towards installing a new generation of farmers was now becoming a national priority as a whole series of obstacles – more or less all within the control of Government –mitigated against the transfer from an ‘Old’ to a ‘New’ generation of farmers. But It was on the question of a means to address what Mr. McCormack said was the “wrecking ball” of  excessive price and income volatility that the ICMSA delegation was most  emphatic: “ICMSA has repeatedly stressed to successive ministers that unless and until we have an effective means of dealing with the kind of wild price and income volatility that we’ve seen in recent years, Irish farming – and the multi-billion Euro sector that depends on it – just will not be able to move on to the next stage of development. We will not be able  to move past the ‘Boom-and-Bust’ that is  doing untold damage long-term to our farming sector and most particularly our ‘Flagship’ dairy sector. ICMSA recommended again the Farm Management Deposit Scheme which would allow farmers to put money in a Government regulated deposit scheme in ‘good’ years and then draw it down in the ‘bad’ years in a manner that would effectively ‘smooth-out’ their incomes and allow some degree of stability and planning.  We are satisfied that we’ve made significant progress in convincing the Department that this is the answer to a problem that is within our power to solve”, concluded Mr. McCormack.


Ends    11 September 2017.

Pat McCormack, 087-7608959

Deputy President, ICMSA.


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office