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Budget 2016: Chancellor cuts corporation tax and earmarks £700m flood defence boost

An absence of support for the farming industry was criticised, as the food commodity crisis continues

Joel   Durkin

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Joel   Durkin
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Farms with a corporate business structure will see a 3 per cent cut in tax as part of a raft of economic measures outlined in Wednesday’s (March 16) Budget.

 

Chancellor George Osborne announced the Government would cut corporation tax to 17 per cent by April 2020.

 

He also pledged a £700 million boost to help improve UK flood defences, including in rural areas.

 

But sections of the farming community hit out at the Budget, which failed to provide any concrete support for the industry as it faces one of the most severe commodity downturns in recent times.

 

NFU Scotland chief executive Scott Walker said the organisation hoped the Government would increase Annual Investment Allowance and introduce measures to aid with the introduction of the National Living Wage.

 

He said: “There is nothing in the Budget for struggling farm businesses.”

 

NFU Mutual rural affairs specialist Tim Price added it was ’very disappointing’ nothing had been done to support struggling farmers as it had done for the North Sea Oil Industry.

 

The CLA said it was important the Government put landowners at the heart of its £700m plans to improve flood defences through the use of rural land.

 

CLA president Ross Murray said: “The Chancellor is right to increase investment with a £700m boost to spending on flood defences.

 

“The key will be to ensure enough money is invested in planting trees and slowing the flow. This is often far better value for money than hard defences, such as walls.

 

“Landowners across the countryside are essential to making this happen and they want to be part of the solution.”

 

Mr Osborne announced a new sugar levy on soft drinks and confirmed fuel duty would be frozen for the sixth year running.

 

He also announced plans to cut business rates for 600,000 small businesses.

 

The cut to business rates was welcomed by the Countryside Alliance, which claimed small businesses were the backbone of the rural economy.


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