A VAT exemption should be introduced on low-emission slurry spreading (LESS) equipment purchased by farmers, says the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA).

ICSA president Dermot Kelleher said: “LESS has become a huge part of our climate action strategy but the cost of putting it in place is just too great for most.

“The fact that VAT on a standard 2,500-gallon spreader can be upwards of €10,000 is a huge factor and one that should be addressed if we are serious about making this equipment the norm.”

Reducing emissions

The Cork farmer said LESS has proven itself to be “very efficient at reducing emissions”.

He warned that “as it is becoming more compulsory, we must consider all options when it comes to farmers’ ability to get on board financially”.

“While there are grants available through TAMS, the reality is that the price of this equipment has escalated dramatically in the past few years and the grant is not enough to make the slurry tanker affordable,” he said.

Extra mile

Kelleher said the precarious nature of the current global situation demands that we do things differently.

“We are in very challenging times with costs rising all around us. For too long farmers have been expected to go the extra mile on climate action and for very little reward.

“It’s clear that this cannot go on and in the interest of food security and keeping our climate ambitions on track this proposal must be given careful consideration,” he said.

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