Beef Farming: Agricultural Flat Rate Scheme

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:45 pm on 17th November 2020.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 2:45 pm, 17th November 2020

It should be less of an issue for primary producers. It is something that would have a more significant impact on beef finishers that have been in the scheme. Many of them will move out of the threshold very quickly, because, although their profitability and margins are quite low, their turnover is quite high. I suspect that that is why the Government are doing it: to ensure that the scheme, which is supposed to be a scheme to facilitate making the reclaiming of VAT easier, is cost-neutral. For some of the bigger operators, it is perhaps not cost-neutral. The scheme may have some impact, in that the finished price of beef may be reduced, because of the number of individuals involved who are required to store cattle. Generally, however, sheep and beef farmers will be able to avail themselves of the scheme, if they so desire ,because they will fall within the £150,000 turnover threshold .