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Budget tax hike will hit hard-up farmers - Farron

March 9, 2017 4:36 PM

South Lakeland MP Tim Farron has warned that almost 5000 hard-up farmers across Cumbria will be hit by the Chancellor's tax hike for the self-employed, announced in yesterday's budget.

Changes to national insurance contributions will see 2.5million self-employed workers across the country hit with an average tax hike of £240 per year. Amongst those that could be affected are 4838 farmers in Cumbria, including 1,128 in South Lakeland. However, many farmers are already feeling the pinch. Just last week DEFRA stats revealed that the average dairy farm business income fell by 49% in the last year.

Tim said: "At a time when many farmers are already facing tough circumstances and seeing their incomes hit, the Chancellor has slapped them with an additional tax bill. This Conservative government is cutting corporation tax for big business while asking hard-up farmers struggling to make ends meet to stump up yet more cash. For thousands of farmers across Cumbria, this could not have come at a worse time. When added to the massive uncertainty farmers face about future trade deals and their ability to export produce, there is a very real danger that farmers will simply leave the sector. This would be a massive blow for Cumbria, and change forever our area's landscape, traditions and rural economy."