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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Ciaran Moran Twitter Email

Farm grants scheme TAMS becoming 'irrelevant' with costing '12 months out of date'

Farm building costs are said to have increased by up to 40pc in recent months

The Department of Agriculture's farm building grant scheme TAMS has been branded 'irrelevant' to farmers with farmers applying expected to work off costings that are '12 months out of date'.

Farm organisations IFA and ICMSA criticised the Department for not updating the scheme's reference costs despite reports costs for farm building work have increased by up to 40pc.

IFA Rural Development Chairman Michael Biggins said, farmers are seeing an unprecedented rise in inflation, meaning the price of building materials such as steel and timber has soared.

"The current costings, which were updated as far back as March 2021, are completely out of line with the price of materials today, making it impossible for farmers to begin their projects," he said.

Biggins said the Dept current system of revising costs is not working and is not able to cope with the pace of changes in the price of materials.

"The war in Ukraine has stretched supply chains to breaking point. Even the most recent revision last November is hopelessly out of date, and that isn't available to farmers applying under this Tranche," he said.

The Chairperson of ICMSA's Farm and Rural Affairs Committee, Denis Drennan, has called for revised costings to be brought in immediately.

"There must be a degree of progress on this issue because we've repeatedly pointed out that so far from closing the gap between actual costs and the increasingly fictional costings set out in TAMS, the gap appears to be widening.

"Famers cannot wait until Tranche 26 opens in April, the current costings were developed in March 2021 and were questionable even then. But now in the spring of 2022, they in no way reflect the current costs of materials. Some of our members have been quoted prices in excess of 40% above the reference costings.

"We said before that the failure to update the costings was making Tams irrelevant and we very much regret to point out that the gap is widening – not closing," he said.

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