The TAMS III revised costings for farm investments are still “hopelessly below” the real costs faced by farmers, says the Irish Creamery Milk Supplier Association (ICMSA).

Furthermore, the association has warned that the estimated costs for dairy equipment have “cut adrift completely”.

ICMSA deputy president Denis Drennan said that when it comes to the new TAMS scheme, it’s “just practically impossible to work out what is going on around the issue of costings”.

He was speaking after a meeting with senior officials at the Department of Agriculture on TAMS III.


Drennan highlighted that TAMS II costings rates were “hopelessly adrift of the actual prices” faced by farmers.

“If we proceed from that point and we accept that the Department was genuine in its efforts to reconnect the costings in TAMS some way towards the actual prices of construction materials, then we have to ask why we see the increases under a majority of headings going up by 12%, when the actual inflation to be applied to these materials from the figures in TAMS II would have been well in excess of that,” he said.

TAMS III is not acknowledging the actual prices of construction materials, says the ICMSA.

The ICMSA deputy president called on the Department to revise the costings in the scheme to make TAMS “meaningful” and to “re-energise” it.

“Why would you look at these figures and still leave them so obviously short of the real costs?,” he asked.

Dairy equipment

Drennan also warned that the approach to dairy equipment in TAMS III is even more “puzzling and pointless”.

“Where TAMS III does make some attempt, its costings are still double-digits short of the actual costs, but at least some increase is being acknowledged.

“But under no less than 10 of the 15 various items under dairy equipment, we see no increase at all - absolutely nothing.

“So, the sector with the greatest focus on sustainability has had grants towards that end actually cut, because where inflation has run at the rates we’ve seen and grants ‘stand still’, then it amounts to a cut in real terms,” he added.

Due to these concerns, the ICMSA representative suggested that TAMS III is “out of date already in the first few weeks of launch”.

“A huge opportunity will be missed and the responsibility for that failure lies, I regret to say, squarely at the feet of the Department, who came halfway to the mark under some headings and didn’t even try to come under other even more important headings,” Drennan added.

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