24th Nov


TFA Media Release MR17/34 – Autumn Budget: A Failure of Joined up Government

Autumn Budget: A Failure of Joined up Government

The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) has criticised the Government for what it sees as a failure to grasp the need for the sort of joined up working needed to make a success of Brexit.

TFA Chief Executive, George Dunn said “This week’s Budget statement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, demonstrates just how siloed the Government continues to be when what we really need is concerted action across Government to take a full systems approach to our sustainable development.”

“Even before Philip Hammond stood up in the House of Commons to deliver his Budget speech on 22 November, most commentators were predicting a ‘boring budget’ and sadly, they were not disappointed. Granted, given the state of the public finances and the fragility of the Government’s majority it could be argued that the Chancellor had very little room for manoeuvre. However, to deliver exactly nothing to assist the farming industry to meet the Government’s own challenge of raising productivity was extraordinary,” said Mr Dunn.

Recently, DEFRA reconstituted the Tenancy Reform Industry Group asking for it to produce recommendations for changes to the taxation environment within which agricultural tenancies operate in order to ensure that the fiscal framework was fit for purpose for the post Brexit era. On top of this, the TFA sent a list of detailed proposals to the Chancellor which could have been implemented at no cost to the Exchequer but at massive benefit to the tenanted sector of agriculture.

“It is depressing that there has been a failure in Government in getting these proposals to travel the little over half a mile between DEFRA headquarters on Smith Square to the Treasury building in Horse Guards Road. For such a time as this, when we are gearing up to make a success of Brexit, we need Government to work in a much more joined up way to ensure that we have the right platform for our sustainable development,” said Mr Dunn.

The TFA is also concerned about other policy areas which need cross government action including on extending the remit of the groceries code adjudicator, providing more affordable housing in rural areas, protecting and enhancing county council smallholding estates, producing a sustainable platform for the application of Town and Country planning in rural areas and the rollout of superfast broadband connections to enable rural businesses and homes to have the same level of connectivity as their urban counterparts.

“There is good work going on in individual parts of Government but there is a lack of overview which brings these strands together. We need to see that improve and fast,” said Mr Dunn.

Ref: MR 17/34
Date: 24 November 2017

Notes for Editors:

For further information contact George Dunn on 07721 998961 or TFA Communications and Events Coordinator Harley Coles on 0118 930 6130.

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