IFA president Tim Cullinan said proposals within last week’s Commission on Taxation and Welfare (COTW) report disproportionately target farmers.

“These proposals cannot be factored into the upcoming budget, or any future budgets,” he said.

“We fully understand the wider economic and demographic challenges facing the State. However, this report will only serve to cause uncertainty for farm families. It’s very hard to plan farm succession or future investment with the level of uncertainty this report will cause.

“Many farms are already at breaking point. To give you some perspective, almost 60% of farms earned less than €20,000 in 2021.”

IFA national environment committee chair Paul O'Brien with IFA president Tim Cullinan and Michael Creed, Fine Gael TD for Cork North-West, at last week’s pre-Budget meeting, Buswells Hotel, Co Dublin.

The IFA will be analysing the document in full, but from a first look, there are some very damaging and urban-centric proposals.

“Increasing taxes on agri diesel, reducing inheritance tax reliefs or increasing PRSI payments for farmers would be a further targeting of the agri sector. It would also be counter-productive economically, as it will slow down both land transfer and on-farm investment. We are also very concerned at the possibility of including agricultural land in any site valuation tax,” Cullinan said. “We raised our concerns about some of the leaks at our recent meeting with Ministers Donohoe and McGrath. Minister Paschal Donohoe has committed to meet with IFA on the report.”

IFA Roscommon delegation talking to Sinn Féin’s Claire Kirrane and Fine Gael’s Ashling Dolan about IFA’s Budget priorities at the pre-Budget meeting in Dublin held last week.

Irish pig farmers losing money for 400 days

IFA pigs chair Roy Gallie said the supply of pigs is drying up fast. If processors want to secure a supply of Irish pigmeat into the future, they must increase the price paid to Irish pig producers.

“Every day that goes by, farm debt is increasing at an unsustainable level. Demand for fresh pork is stronger in recent weeks for a number of reasons, including the shortage of pigs – the average carcase weights have dropped significantly by around 6% to 8% and the large volumes of frozen pork stocks from cold storage have mostly cleared,” he said.