UK - Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has announced that farmers will be able to spread their incomes over five years, helping them to manage market volatility, as part of the 2015 final budget.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) commented that the Chancellor’s decision to allow farmers and growers to average their incomes over five years – a key NFU election manifesto ask – will go some way to allowing them to manage market volatility – and focus more on investment and growth.
“We are very pleased that Mr Osborne said that he had listened to the arguments by the NFU and will allow farmers to average their incomes over five years. As he mentioned in his speech, farmers are increasingly facing a volatile marketplace and this will enable them to manage the impacts of this,” said NFU President Meurig Raymond.
“News that the annual investment allowance will be addressed in his Autumn Statement is also welcome. As he mentions, £25,000 is not an acceptable level which would encourage on-farm investment and we will await further announcements with interest.
“The NFU also believes the changes to the ISA system will allow more flexibility in accessing funds without losing the benefits of tax relief; and that our members who supply the drinks industry will also welcome a cut in alcohol duty for cider, beer and spirits. We will also await further detail on how the changes affecting self-assessment tax forms will affect our farmers and growers, particularly given that access to reasonable broadband is an issue for many.
“While we appreciate the need to roll out ultra-fast broadband of up to 1k Mbps throughout the UK, we must not forget those rural communities who have yet to reap the benefits of a decent speed for broadband and might only get a basic legal entitlement of 5 Mbps and subsidised satellite services.
“Like most motorists in the UK, rural communities will also be pleased to see that fuel duty will not rise this year.”
Commenting on how the budget addresses climate change, the WWF-UK Chief Executive David Nussbaum said: “Opportunity knocked but the Chancellor only partially opened the door to greener, smarter growth.
“Backing for Swansea’s new tidal lagoon recognises that clean energy is an essential part of our future. But a greener budget would have sent a much clearer message that dirty fuels need to be phased out, rather than offering them tax breaks.
“The Chancellor could have created jobs and boosted growth through long-term incentives for clean technologies. Giving the Green Investment Bank access to private capital would help more enterprises prosper. And reasserting the role of the Natural Capital Committee would ensure more prudent management of the natural resources on which our economy depends.
“With the threat posed by climate change and environmental degradation, we face a global challenge that our political leaders must address head on. As we approach the general election all parties should put green economics front and center of their manifestos.”
You can view the full 2015 Budget by clicking here.