Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:54

New tax 'will hit rural areas hard'

Written by  Ruralcity Media

Small scale diversification projects will be hit hardest by a proposed new tax, claim rural businesses.

The rural economy could be seriously hindered by the government’s planned introduction of the Planning Gain Supplement, believes the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).

Proposals from the Department for Communities and Local Government would see any land or building in agricultural use that is converted for alternative purposes subject to taxation, said CLA regional director, Dorothy Fairburn.

Hardest hit would be small scale developments such as those converting farm buildings for diversification projects, said Ms Fairburn.

“The CLA is fundamentally opposed to this proposed tax,” she added.

“The best security for rural areas is a successful and sustainable rural economy allied with a flexible and integrated planning system with policies that all pull in the same direction.”

On one hand, the government was encouraging an increase in rural diversification. But on the other it was proposing a tax that would hinder diversification.

“We cannot afford to have two opposing messages from the government,” said Ms Fairburn.

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