The Department of Agriculture is reviewing the reference costs used in the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS), according to ICMSA farm and rural affairs chair Denis Drennan.
“The Department confirmed that they are currently reviewing the costs and we need that concluded as soon as possible, and, critically, the revisions should apply to current applications in the system,” Drennan said, following a meeting of the Farmers Charter of Rights Committee on Thursday.
Drennan said the ICMSA proposed that the Department immediately review the reference costs being used for TAMS investments to reflect the increased cost of materials in recent months.
He said that the cost of steel has increased substantially, resulting in farmers expecting a 40% or 60% grant being left with a substantially reduced grant in reality.
“It is obviously unacceptable that farmers who, in good faith, applied for a grant at a particular level now find themselves receiving a substantially reduced grant due to the increased cost of materials – something that is completely outside their control.
“Given the really significant increases we’re seeing here, we’re going to have to see the reference costs reviewed in a way that reflects.
“We know that the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine has the discretion to apply the revised reference costs to existing applicants and ICMSA is calling on him to do exactly that and thus ensure that the farmers concerned receive the actual level of grant, they applied for,” Drennan said.