12 March 1999

Mixed bag for vehicle owners

TAX on red diesel goes up by 6% from 2.8p/litre to 3.03p/litre. This will push costs up by about 27p/ha, which on a 325ha arable farm amounts to £88 per annum.

Vehicle excise duty on agricultural tractors is £40. Cars below 1100cc have VED reduced by £55. Most lorry VED has been frozen for the second year. Lorries meeting low emission standards will have VED reduced by up to £1000.

The VAT threshold has been increased in line with inflation. From Apr 1, 1999 it rises from £50,000 to £51,000 (£49,000 for deregistration).

Standard rate of insurance premium is to rise by 1% to 5% from Jul 1 this year. This will costs a 325ha farm about £77 a year.

Child benefit to be raised to £15 a week for the first child and £10 a week for further children from April 2000.

Those wanting to celebrate the Budget will find that duty on beer, wine and spirits is frozen.

But duty on cigarettes and cigars has been increased by 17.5p for a packet of 20 cigarettes and 7.5p for five cigars.