Thursday, July 19, 2012

O’ Connell calls for government to cut tax on agri diesel

A New Ross farmer has called on the government to cut tax on agricultural diesel to safeguard the Irish agriculture. Mr O’ Connell, the Chairperson of County Wexford Sinn Féin, said that the cost of agri diesel had doubled in the last three years, and insisted that the government has the power, and the responsibility, to cut the large tax on it to protect the vital agri export sector.

Mr O’ Connell said;

“Fuel costs for farmers have doubled in the last three years. Unfortunately, despite a rise in fortunes, farm profits have not increased at this rate. The price of agricultural diesel has increased by 54% in the last two years. During the same period road diesel increased by 35%. “

“According to the Irish Petrol Retail Association, up to 57% of the price paid at the pump goes back to the government in tax. Clearly the government has the ability to immediately reduce the heavy strained being placed on the agri industry due to these costs.”

“Much has been made by the current government of the potential use of exports to lift us out of recession. More than any other industry, Ireland’s agri sector could dramatically increase its export potential given the right conditions. It’s estimated that global food production will have to increase by 70% in the coming decades. In order to meet this demand, and the targets laid out in the food harvest 2020 paper, our government must protect and nurture our agricultural industry.”

“At a time when our government calls for industrial and commercial competitiveness, Ireland’s competitiveness in agriculture is being damaged due to expensive road haulage and the distance we are from our markets. The cost that agricultural contractors face when trying to carry out their work on farms is also untenable, particularly during the summer and harvest periods. These massive costs are then in turn off-loaded on the farmer.”

“Sinn Féin is calling on the government to immediately address these figures by reducing the tax on agricultural diesel to a sustainable level.”

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