Chancellor’s Budget concessions for farmers are limited, NFU says

It should be here to stay but the Chancellor’s Budget announcement that he is doubling the rate of annual investment allowance is welcome news for agriculture, the National Farmers’ Union said.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outside 11 Downing Street before delivering his annual Budget statement.

George Osborne this week committed to doubling the allowance to £500,000 until the end of 2015, a measure designed to stimulate business investment in the economy by providing a time-limited incentive for businesses to invest in plant or machinery.

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The NFU said making the measure permanent would have helped the industry plan better for the future.

NFU president Meurig Raymond said: “Despite the reasonably good news on the investment allowance for plant and machinery, any incentives for capital infrastructure investment were sadly lacking in today’s budget. This is all the more frustrating given that few farming businesses are in a situation to benefit from the continued reductions in corporation tax. While the Chancellor talks about adding resilience and balance to the economy, farmers need to invest in capital items, and not just plant and machinery.”

With the AIA changes in force from 1 April, Hugh Fell, managing partner of Bedale-based property agents George F White said there may be some who are about to commit to significant capital expenditure in the next fortnight who may want to delay for a short period. This delay could prove to be tax advantageous and should be discussed with their accountant, he said.