10 March 1999
Few penalties or favours in ‘business’ Budget

By FWi staff

THE Budget has grabbed headlines for its pro-business outlook, but did few favours for Britains hard-pressed agricultural community.

Farmers feared a change in the inheritance tax rules or the possible introduction of a tax on pesticides and hoped to see a special form of tax relief on farm machinery.

As it was, Chancellor Gordon Brown announced an increase in the threshold of inheritance tax to take account of inflation and left many farmers relieved.

The Chancellor also announced a cut in income tax, with a starting rate of 10p on the first £1500 of taxable income and a reduction in the basic rate from 23p to 22p.

Employers National Insurance contributions were reduced from 12.2% to 11.7% although the earnings threshold for employee contributions was increased.

One general business change could be particularly beneficial to the agricultural sector: the government is extending for another two years the first year 40% capital allowance for small- and medium-sized companies.

But tax hikes on leaded and unleaded petrol by 4.25p and 3.79p/litre respectively are expected to hit rural communities particularly hard.

  • Pesticide tax still on the cards
  • FWi Budget analysis
    See also:
  • The Times 10/03/02/99 page 1, page 9 -20, 24, 24, 25 (Editorial), 29, 31 (Commentary), 32, 34 (Analysis)
  • The Independent 10/03/02/99 page 1, 11, 1 – 24 (Budget Special)
  • Financial Times 10/03/99 page 1 – 32
  • The Guardian 10/03/99 page 1, 2, 13 – 20, 24 (Comment), 25 (Editorial)
  • The Daily Telegraph 10/03/99 page 1, 2, 20, 21 (Editorial), 25, 27, I – VIII (Budget Special)