Farming and forestry contractors say plans to remove “green” or agricultural diesel will cost more than €170 million a year extra.
The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) criticised plans to add 50 per cent per litre of diesel to the cost of their operations and increase food inflation.
According to the Association’s research shows that the Farm & Forestry Contracting sector consumes over 340 million litres of diesel annually, which 67 per cent of all diesel fuel consumed in Irish agriculture.
Currently, the Government’s Tax Strategy Group is considering the abolition of excise relief for green diesel for farm contractors.
However, the FCI say there is no commercially available alternative to diesel.
John Hughes, FCI National Chair said: “Contractors have no alternative power sources to the diesel engine to power their machines and they will be forced to pass any significant fuel cost increases on to their farming clients in the form of substantial increases in Contractor Charges in 2022.”
“There is no other non-diesel engine alternative commercially available in Ireland or indeed across the world, so now is not the time for this Government to use fuel taxation strategies to force Farm & Forestry Contractors and their farming clients into a corner where there is simply no way out.”