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Agriculture: Wastes

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the abolition of the agricultural buildings allowance for slurry storage facilities on (a) the average net income of farmers, (b) implementation of nitrate vulnerable zones and (c) trends in nitrate levels. (204211)

I have been asked to reply.

The withdrawal of the Agricultural Buildings Allowance (ABA) is part of a package of measures introduced at Budget 2007 which also saw the reduction of the main rate of corporation tax and the introduction of a £50,000 Annual Investment Allowance (AIA), allowing 95 per cent. of businesses to write off all their expenditure on plant and machinery (excluding cars) in the year in which it is made. The effect of this package will vary according to the particular circumstances of a business.

Slurry storage facilities may be considered plant and machinery and therefore be eligible for plant and machinery capital allowances (both the AIA and writing-down allowances) at 20 per cent. a year on any balance of expenditure not covered by the AIA where the storage of the slurry is incidental to its final use.