Pat O'Brien, farmer, from Tullamore, Co Offaly

ICMSA say concrete inflation and Mica levy pushing TAMS costings into ‘fantasy land’.

 The Chairperson of ICMSA’s Farm Business Committee, Pat O’Brien, said that the Association is being told that farmers are no longer even considering TAMS as the reference costings on which the grant is based move into the realms of fantasy.

 Mr. O’Brien said wherever he goes in the state, he is being told that the TAMS costings – obsolete and demonstrably out-of-step with real costs for the last five years – are now being pushed on by concrete inflation and the Mica levy into a ‘fantasy land’ that has them completely detached from any semblance to reality.

 “We have repeatedly pointed out that TAMS costings were drifting into unreality but it must be obvious to everyone by now that the grant paid on TAMS project is way off the 40% level for farmers and the 60% for young farmers. Minister McConalogue should immediately initiate a review of TAMS reference costs to be completed by 1 August 2024 that addresses the inflation in costs that all can see.  That must result in increased reference costings and those must be applied to existing projects under construction. It’s just unacceptable and misleading to be telling farmers that they are getting a 40% or 60% grant when the reality is completely different”, said Mr. O’Brien.

 The ICMSA Farm Business Chairperson also called on the Minister to publish the methodology used in reviewing the reference costs and itemise specific costings used for specific items. He cited, as an example, the costs of a cubic metre price of concrete, which is a critical element in the cost of construction.

 “The Minister should publish the price used so that farmers can judge themselves whether the real costs of construction are being taken into account when setting the TAMS reference costs. Because the costings on which the grants are currently based would seem to belong to ‘fantasy land’”, said Mr. O’Brien, before concluding with a call for the TAMS review to proceed and move the much-criticised scheme onto a consistent and formalised basis that addresses specific reference costs in a meaningful and realistic way.

 Ends.        9 May 2024

 Pat O’Brien, 087-2714091

Chairperson, ICMSA Farm Business Committee


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office