27th August, 2012
The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association is calling on the Government to suspend the carbon tax to alleviate pressure on businesses, particularly farm business, as Irish farming attempts to deal with one of the toughest years in recent times.
ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin said, “Fuel prices are set to rise to shocking levels in the coming weeks, and I dread to think of the bills that the farming sector, particularly agricultural contractors, will face when they go to fill their tanks with diesel. That being the case, the carbon tax is making significant inroads into farmers’ ability to produce at competitive prices.”
“At the moment the carbon tax comes in at over 6 cent per litre on green diesel (or €20/tonne – up from €15/ tonne before May 1st, 2012). That’s a very significant amount of money when you consider how many litres would be put into the tank of a combine harvester, for example. In fact, Teagasc estimated that the carbon tax was costing farmers €24million per year at the €15/tonne rate. It follows that the current rate of €20/tonne is costing farmers in the region of €32million a year. The fact that there is a double offset for carbon tax against income tax for farmers is not particularly helpful – it’s administratively very difficult, and varies depending on which rate of income tax you’re on. Moreover, the double offset only applies to the increased carbon tax which came in on May 1st this year, and is therefore of very limited benefit.”
“With 2012 looking like being one of the toughest years faced by the entire agricultural sector in recent times, and fears already mounting about a rise in how much it will cost Irish consumers to put food on the table in the coming months, now is the time for the Government to do what it can to ease the pressure on both farmers and consumers.”
Mr. Gilmartin concluded, “Suspending the carbon tax would be one small cut for Government – one giant leap for business competitiveness.”