Action on fuel costs tops Budget ‘wishlist’

The rising cost of motoring and heating homes top the list of concerns for rural people ahead of next week’s Budget, according to NFU Mutual.

A recent survey by the insurer found almost 60% of rural people said tackling the cost of fuel was top of their “wishlist” for next week’s Budget.

“We’re glad the government is making moves to help those who struggle to heat their homes, but any moves to tackle fuel poverty should also include those who find it difficult to make ends meet because of rising petrol prices,” NFU Mutual’s Tim Price said.

“We would welcome any way of reducing the tax burden on people and businesses in remote rural areas and we anticipate measures that will help small and medium-size businesses.”

Other measures that would help rural businesses have been outlined by accountants Saffery Champness. These include: Increasing the Agricultural Buildings Allowance from the current 4%; introducing National Insurance relief for expanding businesses; boosting rural broadband coverage; and the simplification of tax red tape.

How many of these wishes are granted will be revealed when chancellor George Osborne delivers his first official Budget on Wednesday 23 March. Farmers Weekly will be covering the speech live at, with a team of experts lined up to explain what it all means for farmers and rural people.