ICMSA president Pat McCormack
“The extension of both the consanguinity and stamp duty restructuring reliefs was positive and a recognition of the role that these measures played in ensuring that family farms are passed on to the next generation.
“The increase in Self Employed Earned Income Credit reached parity with PAYE, bridging this discriminatory gap.
“It’s disappointing the conviction that the budget brought to these reliefs and taxation measures was not applied to the long-standing and utterly destructive problem of excess income volatility and the lack of any meaningful Revenue-approved tool.
“COVID-19 for the present and Brexit is forever, greater clarity is required in relation to what supports will be available for primary producers in the event of a no-deal.”
Macra na Feirme president Thomas Duffy
“The decision to extend consanguinity relief is particularly important due to the limitations on state aid rules by the EU. The extension will help to tackle land fragmentation particularly in the border, midlands and western region.
“We also look forward to engaging with the Department on ambitious new environmental schemes that will deliver for young farmers and those in difficult areas to farm.
Macra has appealed to the Government to ensure that agricultural college students are not excluded from accessing third level education funding. “Do not discriminate agricultural college students and do not make them second-class students.”
IFA president Tim Cullinan
“This budget needed to give more acknowledgement to the imminent threat of Brexit. In 2019 €110m was set aside for a Brexit reserve. We need immediate clarity on the status of this fund and what precisely has been set aside for Brexit.
“One announcement that could also be significant is funding to establish a new food ombudsman. However, this must cover the entire food chain and have real teeth.
“The pilot agri-environment schemes will require consultation; we need to be clear that carbon tax will impact disproportionately on farmers. The increase in the carbon tax will increase the burden on farmers by an extra €6m bringing the total annual cost to over €25m with no alternatives available.”
ICSA president Edmond Phelan
“We welcome funds to roll over the various schemes along with the allocation of €79m for pilot agri environment and REPS schemes. The €45m allocation for a CVID-19 beef scheme may also be helpful but the devil will be in the detail.
“ICSA is concerned that there is no explicit mention of the continuation of BEEP-S and we want the Minister to clarify this as soon as possible.
“On the Organic Farming Scheme, there is no point in grandiose ideas in the EU Farm to Fork Strategy without the necessary supports and it will also require a lot more effort in terms of driving new market access for organic beef and lamb.
“On the establishment of a food ombudsman, the office must be given real power to bring transparency to the food chain and outline who makes what from products such as beef.”
INHFA president Colm O’Donnell
“The rollover of GLAS will provide a level of certainty for the 25,000 farmers in the final year of their contracts. Clarity must be provided by the Department with regard to possible penalties if a farmer is deemed to have breached their contract.
“The success of the new REPS will be determined by the make-up of the scheme. We will need to assess whether the €10m announced for the tillage sector will be part of the REPS pilot, or will it be the basis of a separate scheme.
“The increased allocation to Bord Bia takes away any excuse for not aggressively pursuing the development of a naturally reared suckler brand which can have long-term benefits for our sector.”