How the Budget impacts on the countryside
While the 2017 Autumn Budget primarily dictates tax and expenditure by the Government on a national level, there were some announcements which will have a particular impact on rural communities.
Tim Price, Rural Affairs Specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “There was not a lot for farmers to get excited about, although there were a few measures which will ease tax bills. And it was a huge relief that the Chancellor avoided increases in duty on petrol and diesel which would have hit country people very hard.
“Those running small farms and rural businesses will heave a sigh of relief that they won't be faced with expensive accounting admin as the Chancellor has decided to keep the threshold for VAT registration at the current £85,000.
“There was good news for self-employed farmers and all those working as employees that the Chancellor has stuck to a previous promise to keep increasing personal tax allowance. It will be going up to £11,850 and the point at which we begin paying the higher rate of tax is being increased to £46,350 (excluding Scotland)."
Relief for rural businesses
Tim said that the Chancellor’s extension of Business Rate relief for small pubs will be a help to pubs serving remote rural communities and providing a social hub for farmers and other locals. He added: "The decision not to increase duty on most cider, beer, wines and spirits is a bit of Christmas cheer."
Finally, Tim said the Government's ambition to see hundreds of thousands of new homes built each year to solve the housing crisis could prove to be good news for some landowners.
“Confirmation of the Government’s plans to facilitate building of 300,000 new homes by the mid 2020s by the Chancellor could mean great opportunities for farmers in some locations to sell land for building to raise funds for investment elsewhere on their farms – or to diversify and provide a sustainable future for their farms and also local jobs."