Residents of rural towns and villages across Britain do not have acceptable access to the most basic services, goods and amenities. They often have to travel longer distances for healthcare, petrol stations, financial services and shops; and pay a premium for basic essentials such as heating fuel and road fuel. Furthermore, the shortfall in available housing to buy or rent is forcing local people out of the communities in which they work and have often been brought up in.Both the lack of services and affordable housing are hugely damaging and the Countryside Alliance believes that more must be done to ensure the future of safe, vibrant and sustainable rural communities.Countryside Alliance calls for: VAT to be cut on the labour element of domestic repair, maintenance and improvement work. Government funding formulas to be reviewed to ensure rural communities receive an equal level of funding to their urban counterparts. Incentives for landowners to make land available for affordable housing in rural communities.