Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue has been called on to reverse the decision to increase the VAT rate on milk recording by the Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA).
Chair of the ICSMA farm business committee Shane O’Loughlin said the decision comes at a time when dairy farmers should be incentivised to milk record.
From an animal health, AMR and environment perspective, the Revenue Commissioners decision was “totally contrary to Government policy” O’Loughlin said.
He cited selective dry cow strategy, which involves a more targeted use of antibiotic treatments, as a positive step to address AMR concerns with the use of milk recording key to the move.
It was outlined also as an action within the Government roadmap for climate change Ag Climatise published in December 2020.
“COVID-19 has had an impact in terms of technicians travelling to farms and coupled with the introduction of the Veterinary Medicines Directive in 2022 which will prohibit the blanket use of dry cow tubes when drying the herd, it seems that the different pillars of the State are making policies that are contradicting each other,” O’Loughlin said.
“Many farmers in recent days have received correspondence regarding the increased cost of milk recording and the three-fold increase in the VAT rate in 2020 is a major driver of this increase and is completely the wrong decision in terms of stated policy.”
He questioned the logic of increasing the VAT rate and called on Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to intervene.
“We should be trying to incentivise farmers to do milk recording rather than imposing additional costs on them,” O’Loughlin concluded.