24 March 2000

Little help for industry

There was little to cheer

hard-pressed farmers in this

weeks Budget. Changes to

capital gains taper relief was

the main positive, but there

were negatives, notably higher

stamp duty and introduction

of the climate change levy

NO immediate help for farming – thats the impression left by the 2000 Budget speech.

"The accelerated escalation in the rate of capital gains taper relief for business assets will be welcomed by those hard-pressed farmers looking to realise their capital investments, though even this will be mitigated by the proposed rise in stamp duty," says Carlton Collister, senior tax manager in Grant Thorntons Witney office. "Ironically, this may in practice favour only those leaving the industry."

The government is paying some attention to the level of red tape facing farming businesses, including an announced increase in support and a proposal for consultation on simplifying some aspects of national insurance contributions.