Baroness Byford – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Baroness Byford on 2016-02-10.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the introduction of the National Living Wage on horticultural businesses that employ large numbers of seasonal workers.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe

The Government’s Impact Assessment for the introduction of the National Living Wage estimates that around 20,000 workers in the agriculture sector – including horticultural businesses – will be covered by the National Living Wage in its first year..

To help businesses with the costs of implementing the National Living Wage Government is raising the Employer Allowance, cutting corporation tax, and setting the Annual Investment Allowance at a new permanent level of £200,000. The Government is also taking steps that will specifically help horticultural businesses with the introduction of the National Living Wage. The Government is enabling farmers to average their profits over five years rather than two for income tax purposes to provide greater financial security, and it is establishing Level 2/3 horticulture apprenticeships.

The Government’s proposals to devolve the power to extend Sunday trading hours will benefit the horticultural sector. The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), which represents garden centres, many of which are rural SMEs, estimates that Sunday trading restrictions cost the industry £75 million per annum in lost sales.