ICMSA say Budget 2022 “falls short of the challenge and the opportunity”
The President of ICMSA, Pat McCormack, said that farmers would look in vain to Budget 2022 for any signal that the Government understood the scale of the challenge that it is putting before the State’s farm families. Mr. McCormack said that “yet again” there was a gross mismatch between the ambitions that Ministers had repeatedly proclaimed for the farming and agri-food sector – both in terms of economic impetus and climate change measures – and the funds and changes that they were prepared to allocate to that challenge.
“We keep hearing that we’re a critical sector in terms of emissions lowering and we keep saying that we can and will get on board with the project so long as rural Ireland’s economic sustainability is given the same consideration as environmental sustainability. Everybody keeps agreeing with that – certainly the Government do – but only until it comes time to actually do something meaningful and invest towards that end. Then, suddenly, it all goes quiet. That’s what happens every year and that’s what happened today”, said Mr. McCormack.
Mr. McCormack cited what he said was “a small example from today” to illustrate his point: “Today’s Budget introduced accelerated capital allowances for gas vehicles. ICMSA has been calling for accelerated capital allowances for lower emissions farm equipment like slurry spreaders for at least five years. It would have cost practically nothing to do that, relatively speaking. But yet again a Budget has come and gone and a measure that would have cost practically nothing while having a real impact on lowering emissions has not been introduced”, he said.
Mr. McCormack said that today’s CSO announcement laid bare the real picture on farm incomes.
“Whatever benefit farmers have enjoyed from the last 18 months of income stability and reasonable prices has been wiped out by input surges as we see the prices of fertiliser, fuel and energy soar. That has gone completely unaddressed. The Government appears intent on detaching itself from the Agri sector and they are making a huge mistake in so doing. Budget 2022 demonstrates categorically that complacency and flawed analysis: this was a huge chance to show that they understand the positive role that farming and agri-food can and wants to play as we go forward. Instead they have come up with a Budget that falls short of both the challenge and the opportunity”, he said.
Ends 12 October 2021
Pat McCormack, 087-7608958
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office
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ICMSA Head Office
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