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Autumn Budget 2017: What farming groups have asked the Chancellor for...

On Wednesday (November 22), the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, will outline his plans for the UK economy over the next year.

 

We find out what farming groups are hoping to see, and not to see, in his famous red box…



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Autumn Budget 2017: Find out what farming groups have asked the Chancellor for


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NFU Mutual

The NFU Mutual has written to the Chancellor to warn about tax rises which could unfairly penalise farmers.

 

It has asked him to avoid:

  • Increasing diesel taxes
  • Increasing the rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT)

Tim Price, NFU Mutual rural affairs specialist said: “For farmers and rural businesses there is currently no practical alternative to diesel vehicles to transport crops, livestock and animal feed.

 

“Any increased tax on new diesel vehicle purchases or higher duty on fuel would put an additional burden on farmers.”

 

On IPT, NFU Mutual chief executive Lindsay Sinclair said: “We are very concerned repeated rises in IPT are putting an unfair burden on people who have to use vehicles to live and work.

 

“For a large farm business with a fleet of tractors, a quad, a 4x4 vehicle and a combine harvester in addition to buildings, stock and equipment, IPT could add over £1,000 to their costs.”

NFU

The NFU has called on the Chancellor to:

  • Introduce a Farm Infrastructure Allowance to provide relief for the depreciation cost of farm infrastructure over its economic lifespan
  • Exempt agricultural buildings from any new system of Community Infrastructure Levy or Local Infrastructure Tariff contributions to avoid drops in farm investment
  • Improve the capital allowances regime to encourage farmers to adopt a wide range of new technologies to improve productivity
  • Ensure the rollout of superfast broadband is completed, with better mobile phone coverage
  • Introduce a UK farm management deposit scheme to provide farms with the ability to manage cash flow
  • Review trading loss restrictions to help farmers invest in restructuring their businesses

NFU president Meurig Raymond said: “In this Budget, the Chancellor has the chance to help secure a bold, ambitious future for British farming.

 

“Brexit presents an enormous opportunity for the sector, and Government – across all departments – can help us grab it with both hands.”

Tenant Farmers’ Association

The TFA has asked the Chancellor to make a series of tax changes to increase the length of farm tenancies, such as:

  • Restricting the 100 per cent Agricultural Property Relief from Inheritance Tax available to all landlords to those only prepared to let for 10 years or more
  • Offering landlords prepared to let land for 10 years or more the ability to declare their income as if it was trading income for taxation purposes
  • Reforming Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to end discrimination against longer tenancies

TFA chief executive George Dunn said: “Virtually all new farm tenancies are now Farm Business Tenancies (FBTs) and approaching half of all land let in the agricultural sector is under FBT agreements, but the problem is they are usually let for terms which are too short.

 

“For some time, the TFA has been calling for changes to the taxation system which would encourage landlords to let for periods of 10 years and above, and now is the time for the Chancellor to respond positively to those calls.”

 

Other asks from the TFA include:

  • Clamping down on landowners who use share farming, contract farming, share partnerships and grazing licences as vehicles for tax avoidance
  • Allowing items of fixed equipment on tenanted holdings to be used for Capital Gains Tax rollover relief
  • Ensuring farmers who live in accommodation provided by tenancies are exempted from the higher rate of SDLT when they give up their job-related accommodation and purchase a property
  • Scrapping the Make Tax Digital plans while farmers do not have access to high-speed broadband
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