Deputy President of ICMSA, Denis Drennan, claims farmers have been left bemused by the ‘Inflation Cooperation Framework’ announced by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform last month.
In the announcement, Minister Michael McGrath outlined a mechanism by which the State recognised the inflationary pressures currently being experienced throughout construction and most specifically with regard to public works contracts.
Mr Drennan noted that as a result of this new measure the State undertook to bear up to 70 per cent of additional inflationary related costs. He said that the question occurring to farmers generally and ICMSA specifically is why the State was so unwilling to recognise precisely the same inflationary measures in the area of farm grants.
“This is very interesting and more than a little curious: Last April, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine announced that the TAMS Reference Costings would increase across a range of 5 per cent to 15 per cent. That was demonstrably well short of the kind of raging inflation that everyone can see within construction costs and at the time ICMSA said the new rates were ‘hopelessly short of what was required’ and asked the DAFM to review their decision,” he said.
“What we actually have is the State giving major contractors 70 per cent of the additional inflationary cost, while the mostly single-person family farms applying for TAMS get an increase of 5 per cent to 15 per cent in recognition of their construction costs inflation.
“Why is the Irish Government so happy to recognise the inflation felt by multi-billion Euro civil construction firms and so reluctant to recognise the exact same inflationary pressures on family farms?”
Mr. Drennan accused the Government of leaving TAMS applicants “swinging in the wind” and said that reference costs for the grant “should be increased immediately to reflect the actual costs being faced by farmers”.