Autumn Statement: CLA reaction

03 December 2014

The CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses has responded to the Autumn Financial Statement.

Business Rates

The Chancellor announced a full review of the structure of business rates, due to report in the Budget 2016.  He also announced a continuation of small business rate relief and a cap on annual increases in business rates at two percent. He did not provide relief on empty property rates.

CLA President Mr Robinson said: “Businesses across the rural economy are suffering from business rates that increase year after year. 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.

“We are disappointed the Chancellor has once again failed to remove the tax on empty properties that is essential to allow owners to afford the investments needed to bring these properties back into use.”

 

Infrastructure

The Chancellor set out the National Infrastructure Plan which included details of a range of major infrastructure projects.

Mr Robinson said: “We recognise the role that investment in roads, rail and other vital infrastructure will play in supporting long-term growth across the national economy.  These projects will require acquisition of land, some by compulsory purchase. The law that makes this possible is in need of urgent reform to ensure fairness and provide certainty for landowners and the taxpayer.

“The Government’s consultation coming forward on this is an important breakthrough for CLA campaigning on this issue.”

 

Flooding

The Chancellor announced a new tax relief on business investments in flood defences offset against Corporation or Income Tax.

Mr Robinson said: “Tax relief for businesses investing in flood defence is an important recognition of the role landowners across the country are playing in protecting vital agricultural land and rural communities. We will continue to press for the support needed for all businesses engaged in this critical work.”