Farm Ireland

Thursday 22 February 2018

Sector to fight carbon tax hike

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Farm organisations are planning 12 months of intensive lobbying against the planned doubling of the carbon tax.

The estimated €46m annual carbon tax bill, due to hit the agriculture sector by 2014, has been described by the ICMSA as "the Greens rolling a grenade back into the room on their way out".

The carbon tax, which currently stands at €15/t of carbon dioxide equivalent, is to be doubled by 2014, which will cost farmers around 9.4c/l of diesel.

Tom Murphy of the Professional Agricultural Contractors association (PAC) said contractors would have no choice but to pass on the cost to farmers.

"I don't understand the logic of putting an extra tax on agricultural fuel," he insisted.

"Ireland relies on exports and this just adds more to the cost."

Rowena Dwyer, the IFA's chief economist, said the carbon tax increase would undermine the sector's competitiveness.


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"It will add costs at every point from production to processing and transport of the final product," she maintained.

"However the first increase is not due until 2012 which gives the sector some time to convince government that the tax should be reduced or alleviated for the agriculture sector."

Macra's agricultural affairs chairman Kieran McEvoy insisted the carbon tax was an anti-competitive move.

"The carbon tax will not result in farmers switching to alternatives as there is no alternative. This carbon tax will reduce the competitiveness on farm -- this should not be done in the teeth of a recession," he insisted.

Irish Independent