Scottish Land & Estates, which represents 2,500 members in Scotland, said today that encouraging measures announced in today’s Budget will be offset by other provisions which will adversely affect rural businesses.
Jamie Younger, chair of Scottish Land & Estates taxation group, said: “Reductions in the rates of corporation tax and the top rate of income tax will benefit some rural businesses but the cuts in capital allowances previously announced will not be conducive to investment.
“The ability of many of Scotland’s estates to deliver a huge range of environmental and social benefits depends heavily upon the owners’ total income from the estate business or outside. The proposed capping of tax reliefs in 2013/14, for example from farm or other losses, to £50,000 or 25% of total income, will in some cases significantly reduce the funds available to invest.
“We are also concerned that the proposed abolition of zero rating relief on VAT for alterations to listed buildings is a step in the wrong direction. We had pressed hard for a reduction in the VAT rate applied to repairs and this has not been forthcoming.”
“On a positive note, HMRC has confirmed that renewables schemes receiving Feed in Tariff or Renewable Heat Incentive, apart from solar, are eligible for an 18% capital allowance as there had been threats these would be limited to 8% regardless of the useful life of the technology. This will allow investment in renewables projects to go ahead on a firmer footing.”