The President of ICMSA has described today’s Budget as “very disappointing from the point of view of farm families” and he described as “inexplicable” the fact that the Budget contained no measure whatsoever to the counter growing problem of price and income volatility that was trapping farm families in a very precarious financial position.
While acknowledging the progress made under the general headings of the USC and the Earned Income Credit, the increased allocations on both TAMS and ANC – which should reverse the some of the cuts imposed during the recession – and the low interest loan package, the ICMSA President said it was hugely to be regretted there was no concrete measure in the Budget to address the critical issue of income volatility, particularly in advance of Brexit in 2019.
Mr. Comer said that farmers’s disappointment would focus on the non-introduction of a Farm Management Deposit type scheme that would have permitted farmers to deposit money in a government supervised and regulated scheme in ‘Good’ years which they could then draw down in ‘Bad’ in the event of price and income collapses of the type experienced so catastrophically in the dairy markets just last year after milk price fell below the cost of production for 18 months duration. Mr Comer said that while there were certain subheadings where the Budget had recognised problems and delivered solutions, there would be genuine bewilderment and surprise that Minister Donohoe had failed so completely on the Farm Management Deposit Scheme which would help solve a serious and growing problem and whose introduction was, in the estimation of all serious observers, fully justified. He concluded by noting that the increase in Stamp Duty to 6% would also hurt those farmers looking to increase their holding.
Ends 10 October 2017.
John Comer, 087-2057846
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office