The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) has called for short-term incapacitation benefits to be extended to the self-employed, while outlining its requests for Budget 2022.
ICMSA president Pat McCormack said this would allow farmers, with the most dangerous occupation in Ireland, to enjoy a similar level of social protection that is available to workers in much less dangerous sectors.
On the environment, it wants no VAT on low emission slurry spreading (LESS) equipment, as well as a 60% grant for that equipment and other environmental investments purchased through a properly funded TAMS II.
Continuing that theme, a rebate system should be introduced to encourage the switch from CAN to protected urea.
In addition to a properly resourced TAMS II, the organisation thinks that a reformed and funded agri-environment scheme could attract an additional 10,000 participants next year.
The ICMSA has again called for a farm management deposit scheme that is a Revenue-approved method of dealing with income volatility, allowing farmers to deposit money in ‘good’ years and access it in ‘bad’ years.
It has called for a widening of taxation bands and 3% stamp duty on the sale of agricultural land.
The ICMSA wants a payments ‘break’ for farmers suffering from outbreaks of bovine TB would cost paltry sums and would function along the lines of the COVID-19 payment breaks that proved their worth recently.
The surge of interest in the Department’s piloted dairy calf-to-beef scheme, an initiative proposed by the ICMSA, strongly indicates that a better-resourced scheme would have even more applicants with proven emissions reductions and better returns for individual farmers.
McCormack said that the farm organisation has made very specific and targeted proposals across taxation, environment and farm schemes that will move the position forward in a rational, cost-efficient and measured way.
Farmers are braced to take up the challenge but that is going to require active and practical help
McCormack commented: “Ireland will effectively have two budgets this year: one financial and one climate-related; at this stage the latter is as important as the former.
“Farmers are braced to take up the challenge but that is going to require active and practical help,” he insisted.
"Government [need to] realise that ‘standing back and watching’ is not an option here, only they can give this the momentum to move it forward, and we’ve given them a suite of measures that we think will provide some of that momentum,” added McCormack.
He said that the ICMSA has made very specific and targeted proposals across taxation, environment and farm schemes that will move the position forward in a rational, cost-efficient and measured way.