Budget can boost fragile farming recovery

UK - The government must act now to maintain and strengthen the UK agricultural industry’s tentative recovery, says NFU President Sir Ben Gill.
calendar icon 23 September 2003
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The call forms the basis of the NFU’s detailed submission to Chancellor Gordon Brown for inclusion in his autumn pre-budget report.

The NFU asserts that farmers and growers are slowly restoring their businesses to profitability.

The NFU added that the implementation of the recent Curry Report recommendations and CAP reforms provide the necessary framework for agriculture to prosper but warned that this was dependant on the government refraining from imposing further regulatory and taxation costs on farming and horticulture.

In letter sent this week to the Chancellor, the NFU calls for measures including:

  • Changes in the way on farm trading profits are treated
  • An extension of Agricultural Property Relief for Inheritance Tax
  • Income tax relief for new funds invested in existing and new farm cooperative ventures
  • Increased capital allowances on farm machinery and buildings
  • Reduction in biofuel duty
  • Reduction in VAT on cut flowers
  • Continued support for the Voluntary Initiative on pesticide use
In his letter, Sir Ben writes: “Farm incomes remain at unsustainably low levels but a fragile optimism that circumstances may be improving is now emerging. It will be crucial to the development of this recovery that government plays a supportive role.“

Source: National Farmers Union - 22nd September 2003
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