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Budget 2023: Countryside Alliance response

  • The Countryside Alliance is relieved to see the UK's economic outlook improving, and we welcome the Chancellor's efforts to share the proceeds of economic recovery with rural areas.
  • The retention of the £2,500 energy price guarantee for a further three months, after which prices are expected to start falling, will be welcome news for struggling rural households. However, it remains unclear what support businesses and those off grid homes will receive in terms of energy bills and we will be seeking clarification on that.
  • We have repeatedly called for a VAT cut on fuel, and while this has not been taken up, we are pleased that fuel duty will neither be uprated nor increased, with the freeze and 5p cut extended for another year.
  • We welcome the Chancellor's announcement of the enhanced duty relief scheme for drinks sold from draught, which we hope will provide a lifeline for rural pubs that in many areas represent the heart of their community.
  • Potholes are a particular blight on rural roads so we welcome the Government's increase in funding for local authorities to tackle them. Given the disproportionate impact of potholes on rural roads and the communities that rely on them, we would expect a degree of preference to be shown in awarding funds to those areas that are especially badly affected.

To read the briefing in full, please click here.

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