Autumn Statement measures welcomed but need to go further, NFU says

22 November 2023

NFU President Minette Batters leaning against a bale of straw in a field.

The NFU has responded to the Chancellor's Autumn Statement.

NFU President Minette Batters said: “While some of the announcements such as cuts to National Insurance Contributions, extensions to current business rate reliefs and new 5G innovation regions have the potential to benefit some farm businesses, the majority look set to miss out on some of the Chancellor’s headline measures.

“For instance, while we acknowledge the announcement of full expensing, most farm businesses are ineligible as the vast majority are unincorporated businesses. Similarly, while it’s positive to see streamlining of the planning system, especially on grid connections, again this appears limited to large scale projects.

“Farm businesses form the bedrock of the UK’s largest manufacturing sector – food and drink. To make a real difference, the Chancellor’s focus must be on targeted investment incentives to stabilise, grow and decarbonise our sector. This is what the NFU has been calling for in our submissions to Treasury for many years and the time to act is now.”