Denis Drennan, who farms at Dunbell, is the chair of the Kilkenny branch of ICMSA
Commenting on the 100% approval of farmers under TAMS Tranche 21, the Kilkenny farmer who serves as Chairperson of ICMSA Farm & Rural Affairs Committee has welcomed the fact that the budget was sufficient to approve all applicants on this occasion.
But Dunbell’s Denis Drennan went on to say that the Reference Costs used to determine a farmers’ grant must be updated immediately to reflect the very substantial increase in construction costs.
“Obviously we’ve been speaking to farmers across the country and, across every county, construction costs have increased by unprecedented levels in the last year. The result is that a farmer expecting a 40% grant will end up getting a substantially reduced grant rate as a result of increased construction costs and the failure of the Department to update Reference Costs. The Minister is going to have to revised the Reference Costs immediately and, in the interests of fairness, we think that the revised Reference Costs should apply to all investments under TAMS completed in 2021”, said Mr Drennan.
The ICMSA Chairperson said that the construction increases are of double digit size and were putting unexpected and insurmountable financial strains on farmers trying to complete investments. “If we’re going to grant-aid the construction then the grants must be based on a current and realistic costs”, said Mr Drennan.
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