Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Farming

Farmers react to Budget

Avatar

Published

on

Absence of broadband announcement disappointing: Meurig Raymond

Absence of broadband announcement disappointing: Meurig Raymond

THE CHANCELLOR’S Budget has been received with mixed reaction by farmers and the food industry.

Delivered on Wednesday, (Mar 16), George Osborne’s financial plans have been received with mixed reaction by farmers and the food industry.

In what will probably grab the biggest headlines across the industry, the Chancellor has announced a sugary drink levy on soft drinks manufacturers. The Government will consult on how the levy will work and which products will be covered, but there was some re-assurance that it wouldn’t include milk based drinks or pure fruit juices.

Elsewhere a continued focus on corporation tax cuts does nothing to help the 90% of UK farm businesses who are unincorporated and are struggling in the current economic climate. For the next generation of farmers, news that the Government will top up a new ISA saving system (£1 given for every £4 saved) until the saver is 50 will be welcome for those who are in a position to save.

NFU President Meurig Raymond said : “I had really hoped that the Chancellor would have recognised by now that all parts of the economy should benefit from tax simplification, as it is there is little support for capital investment on farm for buildings and reservoirs.”

Mr Raymond continued: “We are disappointed that nothing new was announced to boost the provision of superfast broadband to the last 5%, who are predominantly farmers and those living in rural communities. It’s particularly disappointing that the Chancellor has announced nothing to help mitigate the additional costs and pace of introducing the national living wage from April this year.

“News that the country will invest £700m more in its flood defences will be welcomed by the many farmers and their families who have faced devastating damage this winter. But we should be clear this is funded by an increase in insurance premiums for all. I am also seeking assurance that the planned £40m per year increase in maintenance expenditure will protect deserving rural communities as well as urban areas.”

He added: “We will study the implications of the proposed levy on sugary drinks and respond to the Government’s planned consultation, but it is reassuring that the Chancellor confirmed that neither milk based nor pure fruit juices will be included in the levy.”

Responding to the headline grabbing tax on sugary drinks, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “This is very welcome news as we aim to have a healthier population. Current levels of obesity are unsustainable and the obesity problem among young people is so bad that the present generation of parents may be the first to bury their children.”

“As such we advocate a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and milk has a part to play in that.

“In light of this we welcome that milk-based drinks are excluded from the sugar tax and encourage parents to ensure that their children get to drink the recommended amount of milk per day,” he added.

The Union further welcomed that fuel duty is to be frozen for the sixth year in a row as a rise could have a devastating effect on the Welsh farming industry.

“Fuel price rises could have a devastating result for farmers and all the rural communities in general as a car is essential in the countryside with public transport being so poor,” said Mr Roberts.

Commenting on the Capital Gains Tax cut from 28 % to 20 %, and from 18 % to 10 % for basic-rate taxpayers, FUW Director of Finance David Parker said: “This is a positive move for any farmers who are selling any or all of their farm.

“We must also welcome the Commercial stamp duty 0% rate on purchases up to £150,000, 2 % on next £100,000 and 5 % top rate above £250,000.

“The young person’s ISA is of importance to self-employed people enabling up to £4000 p.a. to be saved tax free up to the age of 50 with government adding 25 % bonus to savings.

“This is possibly where the wider pensions market will be heading over the next few years with tax relief on the receipt of pensions rather than tax relief at the point of saving.

“This provides a new vehicle for younger self-employed people to commence pension savings aided by the government contribution and must be welcomed,” he added.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Farming

Plan for ‘collaborative approach’ to tackling rural crime issues

Avatar

Published

on

THIS week (Mar 9) Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn chaired a strategic meeting with key stakeholders to identify collaborative opportunities to tackle rural and wildlife crime in the Dyfed-Powys area.


Following a meeting with the Farming Unions in Wales earlier this year, Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn is keen to establish a Strategic Partnership Working Group with key stakeholders that will aim to identify ways of working collaboratively to tackle some of the rural and wildlife crime issues in Dyfed-Powys.


Dyfed-Powys Police have recently appointed a Sergeant for the Rural Crime Team, and the Police and Crime Commissioner has been keen to consult with key stakeholders to gain an input from partners to support the development of a new Rural Crime Strategy for the Force.


Key Stakeholders that were invited to be part of the strategic group include both NFU Cymru and FUW unions, as well as local authorities, National Parks, RSPCA and many others.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn said: “I had positive discussions with representatives from both unions earlier this year to highlight some of the rural crime issues in the Dyfed-Powys area.


“One of the priorities identified was the need to take a collaborative approach to tackling rural and wildlife Crime, and the meeting with several key partners today was an opportunity to develop discussions and ideas further”.


Earlier in March, PCC Dafydd Llywelyn published a Rural Crime bulletin, which highlights some of the work that has taken place recently in the Dyfed-Powys area, and cross border collaborative initiatives.


PCC Dafydd Llywelyn noted that this multi agency partnership will aim to build on some of the great work that is already happening, and said;  “This meeting today comes a year on from the successful St. David’s Day Conference focusing on Rural Crime that I held at Police Headquarters last year. The last 12 months have been like no other but sadly crime and incidents affecting the rural community have continued.


“Today’s multiagency Strategic meeting was an opportunity to present the new Sergeant for the specialist team, and to discuss a new website that we are developing in partnership with North Wales Police to provide key crime prevention messages to the agricultural industry – the Future Farms Cymru initiative.


“I’m grateful to all partners who attended the meeting today, and I now look forward to take all comments on board as we look to re-energise and refocus the work of the Dyfed Powys Rural Crime Team.”

Continue Reading

Farming

NFU Cymru ‘responds robustly’ to WG

Avatar

Published

on

NFU CYMRU has said that many proposals within the Welsh Government and Defra’s Welfare in Transport consultation will cause significant disruption to livestock transportation in the UK.

In a robust response to the joint Welsh Government / Defra consultation, the union has stressed the significant impact the proposals would have on the livestock and poultry sectors, and raised concerns that if the proposals are implemented, they will fail to deliver any meaningful benefit to animals’ welfare.

Wyn Evans, NFU Cymru Livestock Board Chairman said: “In order to ensure the best possible welfare outcomes, the main priorities should be the animal’s fitness to travel, loading and unloading, driver training and experience, rather than the length of the journey or the external temperature at the time of transport.

“We firmly believe that the current regulations for domestic transport already deliver high welfare, as a result of the standards, cleanliness and adaptability to different weather conditions of transport boxes in the UK. But as an industry, we want to strive for even better. We believe that in order to do that there should be more focus on certified training and providing clearer, sector-specific guidance, particularly during loading and unloading rather than what is proposed in the consultation. Good welfare and healthy livestock go hand in hand; safe arrival at a destination, be that at market or abattoir, must be and is a priority.

“The transporting of livestock is an integral part of UK food production. The suggested changes to journeys based on duration and weather conditions would cause serious delays and disruption, potentially damaging welfare outcomes, while changes to vehicle requirements would add significant costs. It will also lead to many more journeys being made, increasing greenhouse gas emissions, which work against both farming’s and the government’s net-zero targets.

“Turning to the part of the consultation on live exports, we have inputted our views into a proposed NFU assurance scheme, which is detailed in an appendix in the response. This would be extremely effective in delivering welfare outcomes at the same time as maintaining this trade, as assessing the animals’ health and reporting back to producers is a fundamental part of the scheme.”

Richard Williams, Chairman of NFU Cymru’s Poultry Group said: “Looking at the month of January for example, over the last three years on average there were 10 days where temperatures were five degrees or less. If the proposals were implemented to stop transport at this temperature, no broilers could be collected off-farm in those days. If we had a prolonged cold snap; this would have a massive effect on the food chain.  

“With any policy developments government makes, it is essential they are based on the latest evidence.  We have an industry to be proud of, with world-leading standards, and that includes our current transportation requirements for all farmed livestock.”

Attachments area

Continue Reading

Farming

Export push for Welsh Lamb

Avatar

Published

on

PGI Welsh Lamb will feature in export marketing events in Dubai and Qatar over the coming months, despite Coronavirus restrictions, with the industry aiming to continue a major growth in exports to the Middle East region.


Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) will have a presence at the upcoming Gulfood 2021 trade show during February 21-25 with support from the Welsh Government via the Enhanced Export Fund. The event, which takes place in Dubai, is the first global trade show to take place in nearly a year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In-market representatives will promote PGI Welsh Lamb to buyers at the Covid-secure event.

The Middle East is an important and growing export market; newly published export data shows that the volume of UK sheepmeat exports increased by 18.3% on levels seen in 2019 and a hefty 368% compared to 2018. HCC helped to secure four new retailers as stockists of PGI Welsh Lamb in Qatar over the last year along with a high-end online retailer in the United Arab Emirates.


HCC’s Export Development Executive, Deanna Jones, explained ‘Welsh Lamb exports have grown rapidly in the Middle East over the last few years and the market now sells Welsh Lamb through wholesale, retail and foodservice.’
‘Whilst we will not be attending any events in person, it is important that Welsh Lamb has a presence at Gulfood 2021 and other trade events as we continue to build the customer base and profile of our products.’


Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said: “I am very pleased we have been able to support Hybu Cig Cymru as they continue to promote Welsh produce internationally – particularly given the increasing export value of the Middle East to Welsh Lamb producers.


“While restrictions mean delegates will not be able to attend in person, it is vital that Wales continues to have a presence at trade events such as Gulfood 2021, and I am very pleased Wales will be at the table in Dubai.”

Continue Reading

Trending

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK