Friday, 21 March 2014

Farm News Friday - The Budget

I'm not much of an economist, and I haven't had time to really dig around for any impact the budget will have on small farmers - if anyone can enlighten me, please post in the comments!

Apparently the CLA quoted here on FarmingUK are saying that tax breaks are only designed to help incorporated businesses, and most farms and rural businesses are unincorporated.

They do add that farmers will be glad of the extended Annual Investment Allowance because of machinery purchases, but frankly, I don't think my new pink wheelbarrow, purchased with the scrimped savings from the grocery budget, is going to be in that category.

Lest you think I am a pink wheelbarrow kind of woman, can I just say I bought it because the rest of the family expresses great scorn for pink wheelbarrows and swears it would not be seen dead with same.  This is playing directly into my hands, as my previous pride and joy in purple has been kidnapped and now lives in the pony paddock. I shall report back on whether this contempt is genuine, or if in fact it is all a front and I lose yet another wheelbarrow.

Apart from a bit about supporting apprenticeships, which may benefit our offspring but will not directly affect the small or part time farmer in terms of hiring in staff, the AIA seems to be the big news of the budget for farming correspondents.

There is an increase in the personal allowance - the amount you are allowed to earn before you pay any tax - and that is good news for all us working types, though I have yet to earn enough to hit it.

I am not jumping for joy about the tax cuts on beer and bingo, despite being one of the aforementioned working sorts, but I did find it funny to listen to the Guardian reading, champagne socialists getting their knickers in a knot about how patronising it was to assume that working people liked beer and bingo.

In a vox pop on Radio Four, as far as I could tell, no real working class person felt patronised whether or not they played Bingo, but cheaper beer was pretty much universally applauded.

In a more subtle moment, a commentator declared the comments about beer and bingo on Twitter by Grant Shapps were terribly patronising, but then proceeded to say that he felt politicians had missed the point, most working people hadn't noticed the comments, and in fact, most working people probably hadn't noticed the budget. So not patronising at all then.

Part time and small farmers, I would suggest do not play much bingo - not the time for it really and not ideally located - but will be chuffed that beer and cider aren't going up, on balance.

If anyone wants my £500k AIA shout.  Oh wait. £499, 957.50. There was that wheelbarrow.