CLA and NFU voice rural concerns in response to the autumn statement

The CLA has pledged to engage fully in the structural review of business rates, announced today by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the autumn statement, adding that it would be arguing for measures to promote rural sector growth.

“Businesses across the rural economy are suffering from business rates that increase year after year,” said CLA president Henry Robinson.  “We will engage with this important review and make the case for reducing the burden of tax to promote investment and growth across our rural communities.”

He also voiced his organisation’s “disappointment” that the Chancellor, George Osborne (pictured), had “once again failed to remove the tax on empty properties”, which the CLA believes is essential to allow owners to afford the investments needed to bring these properties back into use.

NFU reaction

The NFU, meanwhile, said that the freezing of fuel duty for a further year, exempting apprenticeships from national insurance, and a further extension to small business rate relief all have the potential to help farmers.

“However, it is disappointing that the changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax relate to residential property only,” added NFU director of policy, Andrew Clark.

He also said that the Chancellor had again suggested the need for a more balanced national economy but that he’d “confined this to building a northern powerhouse in northern cities”.

“We think there is a need to encourage business investment and growth in productive capacity throughout the whole of the UK,” he said.  

“It is also disappointing that no mention was made of the annual investment allowance or encouraging investment in business infrastructure or managing business volatility, all of which were key NFU asks, when we made our budget submission.”

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