IFA welcomes change but still seeks alternatives

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has welcomed the decision by Minister for Finance Michael McGrath to remove the value of the pouring concrete element from precast products from the scope of the concrete levy.

Minister McGrath confirmed this morning (Wednesday, September 6) that he intends to bring forward a legislative amendment in the forthcoming Finance Bill to deal with how the Defective Concrete Products Levy (DCPL) impacts on the sale of certain precast products.

The minister said: “My officials have held a series of meetings with industry bodies where they outlined their concerns about this aspect of the application of the levy.

“It has become clear that the manner in which the levy impacts on the sale of certain precast products has a potentially negative impact on the export of these products and competition from suppliers in to the jurisdiction.”

“It is my intention to bring forward an amendment in the forthcoming Finance Bill to exclude the value of pouring concrete used in precast products from the scope of the levy,” Minister McGrath said.

The move was welcomed by the IFA, whose farm business chairperson Rose Mary McDonagh said: “The IFA has maintained since the announcement of this levy in last year’s budget that this is an unfair tax on farmers and the general population for a problem not of their making.

“It is simply a revenue raising exercise and adding further costs to construction at a time of already inflated prices,” she added.

“While the levy on precast products is gone, it still applies to readymix and concrete blocks, which are used for construction work on farms.

“This increased cost will act as a disincentive for work that will make farms more sustainable,” McDonagh added.

The IFA wants farmers to be allowed to reclaim any levy paid on construction work in the same manner as VAT is reclaimed.

McDonagh said that the association has requested a meeting with Minister McGrath “to discuss possible alternatives to the current levy”.

According to Minister McGrath, the exclusion of pouring concrete for precast from the levy will come into effect from January 1, 2024.

A refund scheme will apply for the rest of this year for levies paid before January 1 on pouring concrete for precast products.

Concrete blocks and pouring concrete for use other than in precast products will remain within scope of the levy.

Minister McGrath said: “It is my belief that, taking account of the proposed amendment, the overall design of the levy balances the need to ensure some of the costs of the rectify scheme are met from a source other than the exchequer, while limiting the impact on inflation in the construction sector.”


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