Food producer stability part of Spring Budget NFU urges

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With Jeremy Hunt’s budget likely to bring some joy in the form of tax cuts, his plans for business are less clear.

With an election looming, Conservative MPs are hoping for some good news to take back to constituents but with a worsening economic forecast the Chancellor has little to play with and confirmed the situation had “moved against us”.

To make the case for agriculture, the NFU has written to the Chancellor urging the government to deliver support for farm businesses to help deal with increasing volatility and build stability. The letter outlines five specific areas it wants the Chancellor to address. These are;

  • Prioritise Environment Agency funding for flood defences
  • Extend IETF to the poultry sector
  • Development of future agricultural budget
  • Clarity on ELMs and Tax
  • Profitability must be built into businesses

NFU President Tom Bradshaw said it is “vital that our country’s food producers have the business confidence to continue producing climate-friendly, nutritious food long-term.

“Farm input costs are up 32% from 2019 with this year marking a 50% reduction in direct support payments for farmers. This, combined with more regular and severe weather events, makes for a “challenging economic backdrop.”

The CLA has also raised concerns ahead of the budget, following media reports that the Chancellor will launch a £300 million tax raid on holiday lets.

President Victoria Vyvyan said: “For many farmers and landowners, diversification into the holiday lettings market is a business necessity, and one that creates jobs and supports the rural economy.

“By converting unused or underutilised properties, that may not be suitable as homes in the private rented sector, into high-quality holiday accommodations, property owners contribute to the local community’s economic vitality.

“The current tax rules for Furnished Holiday Lets provide a crucial support mechanism, strengthening the resilience and viability of many rural businesses that in turn enables them to invest in their work looking after the environment and feeding the nation.”

Full details on the NFU submission can be found here

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