Poultry producers to see Climate Change Levy discount cut

The NFU has condemned a proposal in the Pre-Budget Report that would see the Climate Change Levy discount being cut as it sends out the wrong signal on tackling climate change.

It would see the discount obtained by poultry businesses participating in the scheme falling from 80% to 65%.

NFU president Peter Kendall said: “The change in the Climate Change Levy relief is a kick in the teeth for our pig and poultry farmers who are captured by the levy. They have worked hard to reduce emissions and have received scant recognition or financial support for their efforts.

“This announcement will have a significant negative impact on these businesses which previously could have claimed up to 80% relief for investments in energy-saving equipment and processes.

“But what makes this worse is the contradictory signal it sends when you have a desire from DEFRA to assist the farming sector to meet the challenge of climate change on the one hand and a decision by the Treasury, which will discourage farmers and growers from participating in a scheme that has helped businesses reduce their environmental impact, on the other.

“When the CCL was introduced it was on the basis that it was neutral for the economy as a whole – the new levy was offset by a reduction in National Insurance. This change in the levy breaks the promises it was established on. To make matters worse, there is actually an increase in National Insurance contributions at the same time. The pig and poultry sectors are big employers, so they will effectively suffer a double whammy.”

He concluded: “We need to see farmers investing more to meet the challenges of growing demand for food, climate change and protecting natural resources. DEFRA agrees. But both these decisions by the Chancellor work against this ambition.”