Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) rural development chair Michael Biggins said it’s unacceptable that the revised costings won’t be available to farmers who apply to tranche 25 of TAMS in January, as it will cause them to be at a financial disadvantage.

Biggins said that, at a recent charter of rights meeting, the Department of Agriculture confirmed to the IFA that the review of the TAMS reference costs for grant-aided work will be finalised by early next week.

"It’s unlikely the revised costings will be implemented for tranche 25, which is due to open for applications from 15 January to 8 April 2022.

“If the revised costings are not implemented, farmers will be forced to work with reference costs which were compiled nearly a year ago, in March 2021," he said.

Out of date

Biggins said that these reference costs are completely out of date due to the extremely high level of price inflation of steel, timber and other building materials.

"Failure to adopt the updated reference costs will place these farmers at a significant financial disadvantage,” he said.

“In 2021, and especially in the last six months, we have witnessed an unprecedented rise in inflation, meaning the price of building materials such as steel and timber has soared.

"The current costings, which were updated in March, are completely out of line with the price of materials today, making it impossible for farmers to begin their projects,” he said.

Biggins said the impact of a delay in updating reference costs means that farmers will also not receive an accurate rate of grant that is reflective of the actual cost of investment incurred.

It is critically important that the revised costings are made available when tranche 25 opens on 15 January.

Biggins is now calling on Minister of Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to ensure that the revised reference costs, which are due to be completed by the Department of Agriculture next week, are implemented before tranche 25 is opened for applications.