Calls for the retrospective application of revised TAMS farm building reference costs to all submissions approved under the scheme in 2021 have been made by the chair of the ICMSA farm and rural affairs committee, Denis Drennan.

“The minister is going to have to revise the reference costs immediately and, in the interests of fairness, we think that the revised reference costs should apply to all investments under TAMS completed in 2021,” the ICMSA chair stated.

“If we’re going to grant-aid the construction then the grants must be based on a current and realistic costs.”

The comments from the ICMSA came after the association welcomed the Department’s announcement on Friday of the approval of 100% of eligible farmer applications made under TAMS tranche 21.

Unprecedented increases

Construction costs have increased by double digits this year, placing immense strain on farm finances, according to the ICMSA.

“Obviously we’ve been speaking to farmers across the country and, across every county, construction costs have increased by unprecedented levels in the last year,” Drennan said.

“The result is that a farmer expecting a 40% grant will end up getting a substantially reduced grant rate as a result of increased construction costs and the failure of the Department to update reference costs,” he claimed.