08 July 1999
NI farmers lose tax break

NORTHERN Ireland farmers are one of the main losers from the withdrawal of an offer of tax breaks in the run-up to the Good Friday agreement referendum.

The tax breaks were announced by Gordon Brown as part of an economic aid package tied to the peace accord.

But they have been neutered by the Inland Revenue after intervention from the European Commission.

Businesses were to have been given 100% capital allowances if they bought plant and equipment before May 2002.

The Inland Revenue has since made an amendment withdrawing the allowances for road hauliers and most farming businesses.

The revenue says the change has been forced upon it by Brussels,which says the tax breaks amounted to a selective aid for a region and so could not be allowed.

  • The Times 08/07/99 page 27