Each year ICMSA outlines to the Minister for Finance details within the tax system that would improve Agriculture and farming in general. This takes the form of a Pre- Budget Submission with is submitted in advance of the Budget.
The Agri-food sector has continued to play a hugely important part in the growth of the Irish economy with Agri-Food exports to the fore. Irish Agri-food and drink exports were approximately €13 billion in 2021 supporting over 7% of total employment in our economy.
The Irish Government and Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine have ambitious plans for the future of Irish agriculture as outlined in Food Vision 2030, but the agriculture sector is concerned in relation to the possible implications of the Climate Sectoral Target for agriculture. Irish farmers will deliver on sustainability, biodiversity, carbon reductions and water quality but time, incentives and investment are needed. Irish farmers have worked proactively in protecting the environment and will continue to so in the future, but appropriate public policies must be in place to reward farmers for the provision of public goods, to support the transition to a low emission agriculture sector and to ensure these measures are achieved in an economically sustainable way.
Irish farmers can be part of the international effort to address climate change and they will not be found wanting in the fight to reduce GHG emissions and transition to a low carbon economy by 2050. The target of at least a 25% reduction in Carbon by 2030 on 2018 levels requires farmers to change their practices considerably.
ICMSA believe that with evidence-based policies, the transition to a reduced carbon environment could be beneficial to Irish farmers given our low carbon footprint relative to other countries. This transition must be implemented with full recognition of the special nature of Irish farms and the economic sustainability of Irish farming.
ICMSA believe Irish agriculture has an excellent opportunity to reach its full potential but with the key concerns being Climate Change, the structure of the CAP Strategic Plan and Nitrates regulations; Government taxation and spending policy is critical. It is essential not only for rural Ireland and farm families but also the national economy that each Budget takes account of the risk to the economic benefits and contribution of Irish agriculture particularly in a post Brexit environment.