Tag Archives: Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

DEFRA budget cut by 33% in Spending Review

DEFRA, The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is to have its budget cut by up to 33% in the Comprehensive Spending Review:

Defra will reprioritise its spending, focusing tax payer’s money on British farming and food production; enhancing the environment and biodiversity; and supporting a green economy resilient to climate change.

The Department will manage its reductions by:

Maximising the use of matched European funding for the Rural Development Programme for England, enabling a £66m reduction in domestic contributions. This will allow environmental stewardship schemes to remain open to all farmers. Defra will prioritise schemes that will be most beneficial to the environment, increasing the  Higher Level Stewardship Scheme by 80%.

Here is the summary of the comprehensive spending review as applied to DEFRA

Produce more using less, farmers told

DEFRA Secretary Hilary Benn has unveiled a Government blueprint for food policy that will present significant opportunities and challenges for farmers over the next two decades.

Launching the Government’s long-awaited ‘Food 2030’ strategy at the Oxford Farming Conference this morning (Tuesday, January 5), Mr Benn said things can no longer carry on as they are.

The way food is produced, consumed and disposed of will all have to change over the next 20 years in response to a future in which climate change, global demand for food and competition for natural resources all become increasingly important.

Hilary Benn

 Read the full report in Farmers Guardian here

Cereals 2009

 

 Cereals  – the leading technical event for the arable industry will be held on 10th & 11th June 2009

Venue – Vine Farm, Wendy, Nr Royston, Cambs,   

Find our more about the show by clicking here

See some of the highlights from last years show.

VAT inspectors eye farm businesses

farm-diversification1 

 

 

Diversified farm businesses are being targeted by HM Revenue & Customs for failing to charge VAT. The authorities can recover up to three years’ back tax as well as charge penalties and interest.

Problems are most common where a diversification claims to be separate from the main farming business with a turnover under £67,000 and is, therefore, not VAT registered.

“If you get it wrong the liability could very quickly outweigh any advantages from diversification. HMRC is pursuing businesses vigorously,” said Robert Hatch, partner at accountant Ensors.

“Unless a proper structure and practices are in place to show the new business is run separately, HMRC often finds that the diversification is part of the farm business, which is usually VAT-registered.” Where this is the case, VAT should be charged on all eligible goods and services, not just those of the core farming operations, he said.

“We have seen several cases where the tax assessed is £18,000-25,000. B&B and holiday cottages appear to be current targets, although shooting is another area where HMRC has been active.”

Farm contracting, hiring sporting facilities like golf courses, caravan and camping pitch fees, and open-farm admissions are other examples where VAT should be charged, Mr Hatch said.

Source FWi – read the full article here

Contact HM Revenue & Customs here

First Come, First Served for European Grants

farmers-queue1In Northern Ireland, hundreds of farmers have queued for two days in the hope of receiving European Union farming subsidies,   after their Department of Agriculture and Rural Development decided that this was the fairest way to distribute European Union grants.

As widely reported, the grants, which are aimed at modernising farming practices and equipment, were being allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Since the funding package is worth just £6 million and is capped at £5,000 per application, only 1,200 farmers will benefit.