8.00pm: thanks for tuning in

Thank you for tuning into the Irish Farmers Journal coverage of Budget 2022.

We will have a breakdown of the main measures announced for farming, case studies and reaction in this week’s Irish Farmers Journal.

7.57pm: Teagasc and Bord Bia funding

Teagasc is to receive €153m in 2022 under the budget, while Bord Bia will receive €53m.

The funding allocated to Teagasc has increased on Budget 2021. Last year it received €147m.

Bord Bia’s funding is similar to last year, with €52.25m announced for the body last year.

7.54pm: €2m for farm safety

An additional €2m will be provided in 2022 for farm safety initiatives.

Minister of State Martin Heydon said the farm safety initiatives are aimed at reducing the rate of serious and fatal incidents on farms.

“I am determined to drive change of culture on our farms to make them safer places and this fund will be a huge role in these efforts,” he said.

7.52pm: Boost of €21m for organics

A total of €21m has been allocated for the Organic Farming Scheme next year.

This is an increase from the €16m allocated in 2021.

Commenting on the allocations to her areas of responsibility, Minister of State Senator Pippa Hackett said: “This budget supports nature-friendly farming practices and prioritises action on climate and biodiversity. In my own areas of responsibility, I am delighted to have secured a big increase in the budget for organic farming.

“Funding for this scheme has been increased to €21m up from €16m last year. Including other supports for the organic sector, this doubles the budget available for organics from when I took office less than two years ago. I know that many farmers are interested in making the transition - this will support them as they do so.”

7.48pm: €80m for TAMS

As was the case in 2021, some €80m has been allocated to the Targeted Agricultural Mechanisation Scheme (TAMS) next year.

This will include specific supports for solar energy installation.

7.45pm: a total of €872m for rural development schemes

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has announced that €872m in supports will be rolled over into schemes next year.

More than €100m will go towards targeted supports for the beef and sheep sectors including BDGP, BEEP-S, Sheep Welfare Scheme and Dairy Calf Programme.

“I am satisfied that the combination of direct financial supports and taxation reliefs in this budget, together with the supports to be provided under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve in the very near future, will provide a good, balanced package of measures for farmers, fishers, coastal communities and the food sector in 2022,” the minister said.

“I look forward to working closely with Ministers Hackett and Heydon to in the pursuit of these objectives in 2022.

“I am also working closely with my colleague Minister McGrath to finalise a financial package for the new CAP that will support the agri -food sector and rural communities in the period from 2023 to 2028. I hope to make a further announcement on this soon,” he said.

7.15pm: more details on farming on Wednesday

While the continuation of schemes such as ANC, BDGP and Sheep Welfare Scheme were welcomed by farmers on budget day, the details regarding a number of schemes and measures are still to be clarified.

Details of the Straw Incorporation Scheme and GLAS for next year, for example, are expected to be revealed on Wednesday morning by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.

Further schemes and spending details will also be detailed then too. Tune into the Irish Farmers Journal in the morning for more Budget 2022 details.

6.51pm: money for rewetting and climate research

Some €22m of Department of Environment funding will go towards the Bord na Móna Peatlands Rehabilitation Scheme in 2022.

“Over its lifetime, this scheme will protect the storage of 100 million tonnes of CO2 emissions and enhance biodiversity, as well as creating jobs,” Government said.

A further €11m will fund climate research to enable Ireland to meet its renewable energy targets and climate commitments.

6.40pm: farm and transport inspections

Some €341.7m has been allocated to public services for food safety, animal and plant health, and animal welfare under budget 2022, for the following:

  • To conduct 2,800 on-farm and animal transport controls and inspections.
  • To conduct inspections of live animal consignments at border inspection posts.
  • To carry out 8.8 million tests for bovine TB annually.
  • To provide additional supports for animal welfare in line with the Programme for Government commitments and to unwind fur farming operations in Ireland.
  • The aim of this programme is to maintain high standards of food safety and animal health and welfare, support for food traceability systems and deliver research, testing and disease eradication activities.

    6.31pm: increase in the bank levy on lenders

    Money Mentor Margaret Nolan reports that the bank levy contributing €150m to the economy will be extended to 2022.

    The Minister of Finance said that the bank levy on AIB Bank, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB will remain at this year’s level in 2022.

    This will amount to a combined charge of €87m for those three lenders, instead of the €150m as it was for 2021, as Ulster Bank and KBC Ireland will not be included in the bank levy in 2022 with both are leaving the Irish market.

    CEO of the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland Brian Hayes said there was no expectation it would not be extended.

    “It makes sense in promoting economic recovery,” he said.

    He welcomed the continuance of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), a support that is essential to struggling sectors, such as hospitality and transport.

    He welcomed the significant grants introduced with regard to retrofitting and the continuance of the help-to-buy scheme.

    6.30pm: expenditure side of budget ‘distinctly unimpressive’ - ICSA

    Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) president Dermot Kelleher has welcomed the announcement of funds to set up the food ombudsman office to the order of €4m.

    However, Kelleher said that the expenditure side of the budget was distinctly unimpressive when it comes to the schemes for 2022.

    The ICSA president has also expressed concern that the zoned land tax must provide an exemption for land which is actively farmed.

    Kelleher commented: “This should really apply only in the cities where there are a lot of brownfield sites. The problem is that there is land which is being farmed which happens to be zoned on the periphery of towns and villages.”

    The ICSA president said it is time to examine how to provide long-term certainty for stock reliefs and young farmer stamp duty exemptions.

    “There is no long-term certainty about reliefs such as the capital gains tax relief on farm consolidation and the stamp duty exemptions, as well as stock relief.

    “All these tax measures are not contentious; there is universal agreement that the economic benefits in terms of supporting the next generation of farmers and the support for improved productivity and efficiency outweigh minor costs to the exchequer.”

    5.40pm: Government ‘tone deaf to farmers’ – Matt Carthy TD

    Sinn Féin spokesperson on agriculture Matt Carthy has said that the Government’s budget has delivered virtually nothing for family farmers.

    Carthy commented: “What we saw in Budget 2022 for agriculture measures is an accounting exercise, a simple rollover of existing schemes and with minimalistic measures that will not come close to meeting the needs of a sector in crisis.

    “The only difference that Budget 2022 will bring for farmers is that their fuel and heating costs will rise again.

    “The decision by Government to hike the carbon tax will place an additional burden on farmers, because it will also drive the prices of almost all inputs up further.

    “Irish family farmers needed Budget 2022 to offer a signal that Government recognised the considerable challenges that they face.

    “They need Government to listen, but when it comes to our family farmers and the rural communities that depend on them, this Government has shown that they are tone deaf.

    “All in all, Irish family farmers will be worse off as a result of this budget,” he added.

    5.20pm: funding for Bord bia and markets

    Some €403m has been allocated to agri-food policy and strategy under Budget 2022, for the following:

  • Support Bord Bia promotion and development work to establish a premium position for the food and beverage products in markets at home, in Europe and in UK markets, while increasing market share of growing markets across the world.
  • Provide grant aid for capital investment by food companies to help them diversify products and markets.
  • Invest in public sector research and innovation.
  • This programme will support the strategic development of the agri-food sector, specifically to develop and implement policies as set out in Food Vision 2030 and enhance sectoral resilience in response to challenges posed by Brexit.

    5.05pm: funding for biodiversity and bogs

    Some €120m in funding has been allocated to the Department of Heritage for a range of measures including “biodiversity and restoration”. Other measures that will be funded include:

  • Restoration and conservation of protected peatlands and raised bog compensation schemes.
  • Continuation of support for the protection of our archaeological and built heritage.
  • Investment and support for Ireland’s national parks and reserves.
  • Monitoring of habitats and species as required under the birds and habitats directives, including the conservation and restoration of protected natural heritage areas and expand the farm plan programme.
  • Conservation measures programme to enhance protections and supports for nature at more than 600 Natura 2000 sites across Ireland.
  • 5.00pm: farm sector supports and controls

    Under this programme, the 2022 allocation will allow the Department to use some of the €945m allocated to enable the ANC, BDGP and Sheep Welfare Scheme to continue the support of farm incomes and incentivise environmental improvements.

    The aim of this programme will be to promote environmentally sustainable farming, including mitigation of climate change, while supporting the rural economy and farm incomes.

    4.55pm: Brexit Adjustment Reserve funding welcomed by food and drink sector

    Food Drink Ireland (FDI), the Ibec group representing the food and drink sector, has welcomed the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) allocation of €500m for 2022 and a similar amount for 2023 in Budget 2022.

    FDI director Paul Kelly said: “As the sector most affected by Brexit, funding must be made available quickly to support food and drink companies to address the additional costs of trading with Great Britain, as well as investments in innovation and market diversification.”

    Mr Kelly also welcomed the €4m allocation to establish the National Food Ombudsman and said the objective must now be effective and efficient enforcement of unfair trading practices legislation.

    4.45pm: farmers will look in vain at Budget 2022 - ICMSA

    Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) president Pat McCormack has said the Government seems intent on detaching itself from the agri sector.

    He was adamant 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.

    McCormack commented: “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,” he said.

    “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,” he added.

    4.10pm: carbon tax/REAP

    There’s always one sting in the tail of every budget and it seems that this year’s sting relates to the carbon tax.

    The €49m that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine expected to receive in 2022 from carbon tax receipts has instead been re-allocated to the Department of Social Protection.

    This won’t affect the Results Based Agri-Environmental Pilot (REAP) scheme, which will now be funded for 2022 directly from exchequer funds.

    Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) president Tim Cullinan has accused the Government of reneging on a commitment.

    “It’s stated in the Programme for Government that this funding would be used for environmental and climate measures for farming,” he said.

    “This has not happened and it will further rock farmer confidence in the Programme for Government commitment on the allocation of the carbon tax, which is also costing farmers a lot of money.”

    What the Government is stating is that “€1.5bn will still be made available for investments that aid the decarbonisation of the agricultural sector over the period 2021-2030”.

    However, “the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has advised that these schemes will form part of the suite of programmes under the new Common Agricultural Policy and hence will commence in 2023 rather than 2022.”

    There is a need for further clarity as the dust settles over the coming days.

    3.35pm: child welfare

    Free GP care will extend to cover children aged six and seven.

    Parents’ benefit is to be increased to seven weeks from July 2022.

    The increase for qualified children social welfare rate in respect of children under 12 will rise by €2, and by €3 for those aged 12 and over.

    The back to school clothing and footwear allowance will increase by €10 from June 2022.

    3.20pm: €500m Brexit fund in 2022

    Some €500m in Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) funding will be made available next year.

    Ireland was allocated a total of €1.1bn from the fund.

    “Expenditure under the BAR will need to meet stringent EU funding requirements, and demonstrate the negative impact with a direct link to Brexit that the expenditure is addressing,” the Government has announced.

    “Given these requirements, BAR funding will be allocated in tranches when the eligibility requirements have been subject to a full assessment. It is intended that around €500m of the overall BAR allocation will be made available in 2022 as a first tranche of funding.

    “The remaining BAR funding will be available as a second tranche in 2023 for additional proposals and for the continuation of relevant measures. This approach is intended to allow flexibility around the allocation of funding as the impacts of Brexit on sectors become clearer.”

    The Government has said that while delays in the implementation of checks on imported goods by UK authorities have meant that some of the adverse consequences for sectors such agri-food have not yet fully materialised, the fishing industry has been directly impacted.

    3.15pm: roads and greenways

    Under the budget, the following was allocated for maintaining and improving Ireland’s road network:

  • €1.4bn for the progression of major road schemes identified in the National Development Plan.
  • €30m for the protection and renewal of roads.
  • €360m for active travel infrastructure and greenways.
  • 3.06pm: Department funding for 2022

    The Department of Agriculture will have a budget of €1.858bn for 2022, an increase of 1.8% on last year.

    2.59pm: Farm Assist – new scheme disregards

    The list of agri-environmental schemes which attract a disregard under the Farm Assist Scheme is to be amended.

    This will cost €500,000 next year and will be implemented in October 2022.

    The list of schemes has yet to be confirmed.

    2.50pm: personal tax bands

    Tax bands are being increased by €1,500 for all categories. The standard tax band threshold for single people, those widowed or surviving civil partners has been raised to €36,800 from €35,300.

    Anyone in those categories who qualifies for the Single Person Child Carer Credit sees their standard tax band threshold rise to €40,800, from €39,300

    Married couples or civil partners will see their standard tax band threshold rise to €45,800, from €44,300.

    The USC ceiling is increasing by €608, from €20,687 to €21, 295.

    Personal tax credits for farmers and other self-employed people were finally equalised with PAYE workers last year, the culmination of a decade-long process. The tax credit this year has been increased by €50 to €1,700 for all categories.

    2.44pm: electricity generation

    The tax treatment of income from micro-generation of electricity will see a tax disregard of €200 being introduced.

    This is in respect of personal income received by households that sell residual electricity that they generate back to the grid.

    Minister Donohoe commented: “I am proposing a modest tax disregard in respect of personal income received by households who sell surplus electricity that they generate back to the grid.”

    2.43pm: Macra reaction

    Macra na Feirme has become the first farm organisation to react to Budget 2022.

    Macra president John Keane said: “This budget does not support young farmers. We do not see progress on the major challenges facing young people in rural Ireland. What we see is words, not deeds.

    “The Minister has announced tax credits for the digital gaming industry worth up to €25m, but cannot make commitments to young farmers.

    “Minister Donohue has effectively told the next generation considering farming careers to take up computer gaming instead of farming.

    “There was no mention of generational renewal or the reality that young farmers must meet dual challenges of food production and climate change.”

    2.40pm: wage subsidy scheme extended

    The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme will be extended until 30 April 2022, in a graduated form.

    The current arrangements under the scheme will remain in place until the end of November 2021. After that, the following will apply:

  • For the three months December 2021 to February 2022, the original two-rate subsidy per employee per week (€151.50 and €203) will apply.
  • For the two months March 2022 and April 2022, a single flat rate of €100 per week will apply.
  • The existing reduced rate of employers’ PRSI (0.5%) will continue to apply until the end of February 2022. The full employers’ PRSI contribution will be reintroduced from 1 March 2022 until the scheme ends.
  • The estimated cost of extending the scheme from November 2021 to 30 April 2022 is in the region of €1.26bn.

    2.33pm: farmer VAT rate to reduce

    The farmers flat rate scheme has been extended to the end of 2022, with the VAT rate being reduced from 5.6% to 5.5%

    The scheme compensates un-registered farmers on an overall basis for VAT incurred on their farming inputs.

    “Based on macro-economic data, a decrease in the farmers’ flat rate addition from the current 5.6% to 5.5% is warranted for the year 2022,” the Government announced.

    This is to cost farmers €5.8m next year and €7m from 2023.

    2.27pm: CAP fund being finalised

    Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath has announced that he is in discussions with the Minister for Agriculture for the fund for the next common agricultural policy (CAP).

    He said the Minister for Agriculture is finalising the details of the CAP strategic plan and it will then go to further consultation.

    “In this context, I am conscious of the special position afforded to agriculture in the programme for government and the commitments made in terms of carbon tax receipts,” McGrath said.

    2.20pm: welfare increases

  • Old age pension up by €5 per week.
  • Living alone allowance will rise by €3 per week.
  • Social welfare allowance up €5 per week.
  • Parents benefits increased by two weeks, to seven weeks, from July 2022.
  • 2.16pm: increase in SUSI grant

    The Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) grant for those attending college and university is to increase for the first time since 2012, Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath announced.

    It will increase by €200. The qualifying income threshold under the grant is to increase by €1,000.

    2.14pm: hike in vehicle registration tax

    Vehicle registration tax is set to increase by between 1% and 4% for new vehicles based on carbon emissions.

    The €5,000 vehicle registration tax (VRT) relief for electric cars is set to remain in place.

    2.10pm: agricultural emissions

    The Budget papers include a Review of Green Budgeting from a tax perspective for the first time.

    The document highlights that 35.3% of total emissions come from the agricultural sector.

    This is a key part in why Ireland has the second highest per capita emissions of greenhouse gasses in the EU, giving us a profile “more akin to New Zealand”.

    The document states that: “It is important to acknowledge that Ireland’s specific greenhouse gas emissions profile and larger agricultural sector may influence the cost and potential for emissions reductions. The EU has also recognised the limited mitigation potential within agriculture in its climate policy framework for 2021 to 2030.”

    2.06pm: Organic Farming Scheme and forestry

    The Organic Farming Scheme is to reopen next year to give access to supports to a greater number of farmers.

    There is to be new-afforestation establishment grants, forestry premia and forestry development supports, all under the Forestry Programme.

    1.55pm: carbon tax goes up

    Carbon taxation is the single most effective climate action, the Minister for Finance has said.

    “The science is unambiguous, the world is burning and there are a number of carbon taxes coming down the line,” he said.

    “Studies have shown that carbon taxation is likely to be the single most effective climate policy which can be pursued by Government; although it is not the only one and will not deliver the required emissions reductions on its own.”

    Petrol and diesel prices are set to increase from midnight.

    1.44pm: €4m for the Food Ombudsman

    Under the budget, a total of €4m in funding will go towards “fully establishing the Food Ombudsman,” according to Minister Donohoe.

    1.40pm: €15m for soil sampling

    There is to be €15m under Budget 2022 for the second phase of the Soil Sampling and Analysis Programme.

    The scheme aims to put soil carbon, health and fertility at the centre of the country’s future agricultural model.

    The first phase of the scheme saw 15,500 farmers apply as of the deadline last week.

    1.38pm: cigarette price hike

    Minister Donohoe says he will be increasing excise duty on a pack of 20 cigarettes by 50c.

    Some of Ireland’s most popular cigarettes will now cost €15.

    1.32pm: reliefs extended

    General stock relief will continue until the end of 2024.

    Stock relief for young trained farmers and farm partnerships and the young trained farmers stamp duty relief will continue until the end of next year.

    Minister Donohoe said that supporting the next generation of farmers “is essential for guaranteeing the long term future of agribusiness sector”. He said farmers have a critical role to play in the recovery of COVID-19.

    1.31pm: Zoned land tax

    This is a new tax which will be levied on Zoned Land. The initial rate will be 3% of the assessed value of the site per annum.

    There will be a two year lead-in time for land zoned before January 2022, and three years for land zoned after January 2022, meaning the tax will not be levied until January 2024 at the earliest. It isn’t known if farmland that has been zoned will be subject to the tax. Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe outlined a number of exemptions, including domestic houses, gardens and amenities, but made no mention of farmland.

    This tax will replace the Vacant Site Levy, which has caused much controversy and been the subject of at least one successful legal challenge by a farmer.

    1.20pm: remote working tax relief

    Minister Pascal Donohoe has announced an income tax deduction amounting to 30% of the cost of vouched expenses for heat, electricity and broadband incurred while working from home.

    1.10pm: Minister cites supply chain issues

    Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has cited the “acute” supply chain issues in his budget speech, highlighting shipping issues and labour shortages.

    He says that these issues are further risks to inflation and the cost of living. Earlier in his speech he said that inflation was to hit 3.7% in September – the highest level since 2008.

    1.00pm: Minister Donohoe enters the Dáil

    Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has arrived in the Dáil and will make the Budget 2022 announcement shortly.

    12.50pm: grant scheme for multispecies swards

    It is understood that a grant scheme for multispecies swards (MSS) will be announced under the budget. It will be worth €1m.

    It could cover in the region of up to 20,000ac.

    12.43pm: what do farm organisations want from the budget?

    Farm organisations have demanded a range of measures and schemes from the Government, chief among them €300 per suckler cow and €30 per head under the Sheep Welfare Scheme.

    Here’s what they are looking for.

    12.35pm: how will Budget 2022 affect you and your farm?

    If you’re wondering how Budget 2022 will affect you and your farm, ifac is hosting a webinar at 8pm this evening.

    Declan McEvoy, head of tax with ifac, George Ramsbottom, ASA president and Darren Carty of the Irish Farmers Journal will go through today’s announcements and tell farmers how it will affect them.

    You can register for that webinar here.

    The Irish Farmers Journal will also have comprehensive coverage of Budget 2022, what it means for farmers, case studies and farm organisation reaction in this week’s paper.

    12.30pm: welcome to the live blog of Budget 2022

    Good afternoon and welcome to the Irish Farmers Journal’s live blog of Budget 2022.

    At lunchtime today Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will deliver next year’s Budget.

    The Irish Farmers Journal revealed earlier this morning that which was mooted in the Tax Strategy Group papers earlier this year.

    The Irish Farmers Journal will keep you up to date and informed as Budget 2022 happens.

    With our live blog, updates and expert analysis, we will bring you the key information you need to know from Budget 2022.

    You can also stay up to date across all of our social media channels throughout the day, and pick up this week’s paper to get our full report and commentary.