The government has “completely failed” to recognize farming income pressures in Budget 2024, according to the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) president, Pat McCormack.
McCormack said the budget today (Tuesday, October 10) was a “complete non-event” for “serious” issues in the agriculture sector.
“There’s nothing here that shows the government even understands the scale of problems – still less want to solve them.
“All we seem to have got is a rollover of existing reliefs with some minor technical adjustments,” McCormack said.
Key measures outlined in the budget included more than €3 billion for climate and nature related investments between 2026 and 2030.
The fund is one of the first of its kind and aims to ensure that investment in environmental projects will be prioritized.
According to McCormack there has never been a shortage of government-appointed groups on issues of climate change, but he said “there seemed to be no willingness or commitment” for the government to follow up.
“This budget, like so many of its immediate predecessors was happy to point at alleged agri-environmental problems while shying away from the kind of on farm funding that would deal with them,” McCormack said.
Some of the key Budget 2024 announcements included €400 tax exemptions for electricity microgeneration and the extension of key tax reliefs.
“There is nothing in it, certainly nothing in it for Irish farmers except a few pro forma relief rollovers,” McCormack said.
He added that in light of the recent nitrates decision, there was “guilty silence” from the state.
Prior to today’s announcement, ICMSA were calling for farmers to be included in any possible one-off payment for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Details of changes to the Employment Investment Incentive Scheme were outlined in today’s budget – the changes provide tax relief for risk capital investments in qualifying SMEs.
The budget doubled the amount an investor can claim relief on for four year investments to €500,000. It has not yet been confirmed if farmers can benefit from these changes.