The Tenant Farmers Association has accused The Chancellor of the
Exchequer, Gordon Brown, of completely ignoring the farming community
and farm tenants in particular in delivering yesterday’s Budget.
The Tenant Farmers Association’s Chief Executive, George Dunn, said “We
have been told by the Treasury that the changes announced by the Chancellor
are all to do with international competitiveness issues and were not intended
to be seen as anti-farming per se. What that says to me is that the
Government cares little about the impact of its economic policy on British
farmers and our nation’s food security – well at least we know
were we stand and what to expect if Gordon Brown succeeds to the Premiership”.
Increases over the period to 2009 in the duty for red diesel, vehicle excise
duty and the lower rate of corporation tax, coupled with the changes to
the rules on capital allowances and the removal of the 10 per cent income
tax band all spell bad news for the farming community.
“Where was the good news in this Budget? Apart from the extension
of the 20p discount in bio-ethanol duty to 2010 it was hard to find. Where
was the Chancellor’s response to the well thought out fiscal recommendations
of the Tenancy Reform Industry Group (TRIG) which have support not just
across industry organisations but professional bodies too? The TRIG
recommendations are aimed at creating opportunities for investment and innovation
in rural areas and the fact that the Chancellor has ignored them for four
years displays an arrogance unfitting in modern government” said Mr
“The TFA has also asked the Treasury to consider what it can do to
help with the housing issues faced by agricultural tenants needing to retire
from their farms but with nowhere to live. We proposed some form of
tax discount or credit for landlords prepared to let their retiring tenants
remain in estate accommodation at below market rents. Despite the
fact that this would help to improve the efficiency of land use and ease
the pressure on affordable housing, we don’t even hear from the Treasury
that it is thinking about it” said Mr Dunn.
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