The Farming Social Hub - a voice for the farming community

Cheer for craft beer brewers but mixed reception for Rishi’s budget

There was a mixed reception from the farming community for Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s Autumn budget.

On the one hand, an extension to the annual investment allowance (AIA) until March 2023 was welcomed. This allows 100 per cent relief against spending on plant and equipment in the year it is purchased. It had been due to drop from £1m to £200,000 from January 2022.

A freeze on fuel duty is also a positive move for farmers, while reduced duties on sparkling wine and craft beers will please the producers and growers who are part of the UK’s growing army of wine and beer producers.

There is also an incentive for farmers to invest in green technology such as solar power, under the Green Investment Relief and the cut in business rates for companies in retail, hospitality and leisure may benefit farms that have diversified in recent years.

The CLA however, expressed concern that the budget showed a lack of ambition for agriculture and had no coherent policy on how it would release the potential of the rural economy in its stated aim of ‘levelling up’.

Among the issues raised by the CLA were the lack of tax incentives for landlords to issue long term tenancies so that tenant farmers could plan properly for the future; and whether the Climate for Nature Fund would prompt landowners to take back land and plant more trees.