Soaring farm buildings costs sees value of grants diminished
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has been called on to increase reference costings for grant-aided work under the TAMS on-farm investment scheme.
IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady raised this matter with Minister Creed last month and at the most recent Charter of Farmers’ Rights meeting.
He made the case that the adjustment in costings is necessary given the recent increases in building materials and other costs such as labour and fittings.
Brady said if costings are not regularly updated the value of grant aid due to the farmer is reduced.
The percentage of grant aid is based on the standard or reference cost payable at either the basic 40% grant rate or in the case of young farmers at 60%.
He said it is important that the grant paid broadly relates to the actual costs incurred.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman said the Department of Agriculture must take account of all the data available to them that clearly show building costs have increased over the past 12 months.
The most recent CSO Wholesale Price Index for Building and Construction materials officially confirms that price for all materials increased by 3.4% in June 2017 compared to June of 2016. For example ready mixed mortar and concrete has increased by 2.4%; structural steel by 7.5%; sand and gravel by 6.9%; cement by 4.4%, stone/sand/gravel by 6.9%, and labour costs increased by 2.5%*.