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Farming industry’s 8 key demands from chancellor’s Autumn Budget

PUBLISHED: 08:33 29 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:37 29 October 2018

Chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond is due to announce the 2018 Autumn Budget on Monday, October 29. Photo: UK Parliament/Mark Duffy

Chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond is due to announce the 2018 Autumn Budget on Monday, October 29. Photo: UK Parliament/Mark Duffy

©UK Parliament/Mark Duffy

Farming leaders have outlined eight key demands from chancellor Philip Hammond’s autumn Budget, to ensure their industry remains “productive, profitable and progressive” after Brexit.

NFU president Minette Batters pictured during a visit to the Elveden Estate near Thetford. Picture: Sonya DuncanNFU president Minette Batters pictured during a visit to the Elveden Estate near Thetford. Picture: Sonya Duncan

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has called for eight specific measures in this afternoon’s statement:

• Reform of capital allowances with a review of their scope and purpose.

• Tax relief on the depreciation cost of farm infrastructure to ease the impact of replacing farm buildings on a business.

• Expanding and simplifying Enhanced Capital Allowances to allow early adoption of technology on farm.

NFU president Minette Batters pictured during a visit to the Elveden Estate near Thetford. Picture: Sonya DuncanNFU president Minette Batters pictured during a visit to the Elveden Estate near Thetford. Picture: Sonya Duncan

• Allow SME businesses to surrender the value of their Annual Investment Allowance or Enhanced Capital Allowances claim in return for a payable tax credit.

• Evaluation of a farm management deposit scheme for British farmers to allow pre-tax profits to be set aside for future use in the business and therefore improving cashflow.

• Extend R&D tax relief to all trading businesses regardless of their business structure.

• Ensure the roll out of superfast broadband to all farmers, growers and rural communities, alongside complete mobile phone coverage at a reasonable cost.

• Allow diversified farm businesses to elect to have all income sources treated as a single trade for all tax reporting purposes, including Income Tax, VAT and Making Tax Digital to reduce the administrative burden on the business.

NFU president Minette Batters said: “As our domestic agricultural policy returns to Westminster, there has never been a more important time to ensure British farm businesses are fit for the future.

“That is why we are calling on the chancellor to introduce measures that will help to harness the potential of British farming and gives farm businesses the tools to continue producing safe, traceable and affordable food for the public.

“Farmers are passionate about evolving and driving efficiency in their business. It is our firm belief there are simple measures that can give these businesses the means to increase their productivity and deliver more for the public, who expect high standards of quality British food.

“It’s vital the Chancellor takes on board the measures the NFU has put forward ahead of the Budget and how these can contribute to a thriving farming sector.”

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