UFU comments on UK Budget

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) says the most crucial outcome from the UK Budget for farmers is the decision to retain the relief on red diesel. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, made the announcement today at the House of Commons during his delivery of Government's tax and expenditure plans for the coming year.

Commenting in response to the UK Budget, UFU president Ivor Ferguson said, “We are relieved that Government has acknowledged the importance of red diesel relief for Northern Ireland farming businesses and food production. Alterations to red diesel relief would have increased expenses for our farmers at an already uncertain time causing serious financial implications. It would have added extra pressures on top of rising costs, falling incomes, weather problems and constant pressure on farmgate prices. Family farms would have been left in an uncompetitive position with many other countries who continue to provide lower fuel duty for their agricultural industries. The lower fuel duty recognises how much of a necessity red diesel is for the agriculture industry and Government’s decision to maintain it will enable our farmers to continue producing high-quality produce for the country.”

During his speech the Chancellor of the Exchequer also revealed that Government will help businesses deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

“The UK economy will face temporary disruption due to coronavirus which will impact supply chains. We are pleased that Government has committed to assisting those who are self-employed, and small and medium businesses throughout these challenging times. This includes the pledge to cover statutory sick pay costs, providing business rates relief for many small businesses and mobilising banks lending for SMEs. All of which will help to provide resilience and support cash flow as businesses deal with the impact of the disease,” said Mr Ferguson.