NFU Scotland has warmly welcomed an announcement from Scottish Government that ruled out including agricultural property and agricultural land on the valuation roll.
The statement in Scottish Parliament this afternoon (12 September) from the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution, Derek Mackay on the recommendations of the Barclay Review of non-domestic rates also ruled out rates for processing taking place on agricultural land.
Speaking after the announcement, NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker said; “The announcement today is excellent news for farmers and crofters. We had a very constructive meeting with the Cabinet Secretary last week where we talked in detail about the Barclay Review of non-domestic rates.
“These were two key issues for NFU Scotland members, who believed that including agricultural property and agricultural land on the valuation roll when there was no intention to tax agricultural land would have generated a lot of work for nothing and raised concern over positive future tax creep.
“By not taking this measure forward the Cabinet Secretary has sent out a very positive message to farmers and crofters.
“The Cabinet Secretary’s statement shows he shares our ambition to grow the agricultural industry and has recognised that implementing these measures would have been counter to this objective.
“With margins slim to non-existent on many farms there has been strong encouragement for farmers and crofters to develop more processing activity in order to earn a share of the margin that exists along the supply chain. It is important that no obstacle is put in place that deters processing and so adding value to what is produced on a farm.
“We raised our concerns about some of the recommendations and are very pleased that Mr Mackay shares our ambition in growing the output from Scottish farming and ensuring that the industry is profitable in the years ahead. Positive decisions such as these taken today help the industry massively.”