Any potential changes or updates to TAMS reference costs will only apply to future applicants, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue told the Seanad on Wednesday.

A call for a review of current TAMS reference costs was made by Senator Paul Daly during Wednesday's Seanad session.

He highlighted the differential between the reference costs and actual costings for building works being completed on farms.

"There needs to be a review of the grant reference costings from the Department [of Agriculture] when it comes to the allocation of TAMS grants, in particular for building products.

"In one particular instance that I'm aware of at the moment where a farmer is doing a development of a shed, the Department estimates price for that is in the region of €63,000. However, after a lot of negotiation, price comparison, haggling etc, the very cheapest he can get that job done for is €93,000, so that's a massive gulf.

VAT implications

"The 60% grant [based] on the Department's costing and the 60% grant on what he is actually going to spend is actually a 41% grant, is what he'll be getting. You can couple that with some of the VAT implications which have arisen recently because of the view that Revenue has taken. Along with the fact that when farmers go to the banks now to get their own funding, those banks are doing a stress test based on a 170kg/ha stocking rate," he said.

Concrete costs

Daly said that following some research with a concrete company recently, the last time these costs were reviewed in 2021, a cubic metre of concrete could be bought for between €65 and €75 while now its between €120 to €130 per cubic metre.

This, he said, is an increase of 80% adding that steel and cladding costs have risen by 25% to 30%.

The minister said that he would take on board Daly's comments and pass the feedback onto the TAMS team within his Department.