Farm Ireland

Sunday 17 December 2017

Reasons for not planting

THE reasons why one might not invest in forestry are tied to the uncertainty concerning the future of the existing grant and premium schemes. We are awaiting clarification on these, which is promised by mid-October.

Given the clear benefit to the national economy from a thriving forestry sector, it would appear likely that grants will remain but perhaps on a first-come, first-served basis, with a cap on the amount available annually and the support schemes may well remain on hold.

It will depend on how the Department of Finance reacts to the need to cut annual spending, but at this point it would seem extremely foolish for them to reduce funding to a sector that provides the nation with a huge net return.

There is also the commitment required in that, under current rulings, once planted, land must remain in forestry forever. These are all factors that each individual must weigh up for themselves. We can only hope that our financial masters will cease wasting taxpayers' money on non-productive, politically motivated spending and concentrate on those areas that provide a solid and lasting return to the nation.

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Irish Independent