On 25 November, the Chancellor delivered his latest Autumn Statement. In a year which has already seen the two Budgets and a General Election, and on the back of a volatile market and erratic weather conditions, agricultural businesses were perhaps uncertain about what this year’s Autumn Statement might bring. There were also strong rumours that the Chancellor’s comprehensive spending might see the disbandment of DEFRA, so that will undoubtedly be a key focus for the sector.

In this article we summarise the key points arising from the Autumn Statement and focus specifically on what the changes may mean for the agriculture sector.

In summary (general):

  • Tax credit cuts scrapped all together
  • £12bn in targeted welfare savings to be delivered in full
  • Small business rate relief to be extended for one more year
  • NHS to receive £10bn more funding a year in real terms by 2020
  • Basic state pension will rise by £3.35 to £119.30 a week
  • New 3% surcharge on stamp duty for buy-to-let properties and second homes from April 2016
  • Doubling of housing budget to £2bn a year
  • Capital funding of transport projects to rise by 50%
  • Increased devolution with 26 new or expanded Enterprise Zones announced
  • Transport (37%), environment (15%) and energy (22%) departments all face funding cuts

Read our in-depth Autumn Statement 2015 key details and summary

Autumn Statement 2015

In summary (agriculture specific):

 

  • DEFRA to face 15% cut in funding; much less than the anticipated 30%
  • Government to continue to prioritise funding for flood defences
  • DEFRA to reduce administrative budgets by 26% by 2019-20

More from our agriculture experts

You can find all of our latest agriculture sector news and newsletters here.

If you are looking for advice in a particular area, please get in touch with your usual Hawsons contact.

Alternatively, we offer all new clients a free initial meeting to have a discussion about their own personal circumstances – find out more or book your free initial meeting here. We have offices in Sheffield, Doncaster and Northampton.

Martin Wilmott is a partner at Hawsons

Martin Wilmott acts as lead engagement partner for a wide range of corporate and non-corporate clients in the Doncaster office, especially in the Legal and professional, agricultural, transport, property and construction, manufacturing, healthcare and hospitality sectors. For more information or advice on anything covered in this article please contact Martin on [email protected] or 01302 367 262.

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