Tories urge Finance Bill farm breaks.

The Tories are planning a series of amendments to the Finance Bill in a bid to help farming and tourism businesses hit by the foot-and- mouth epidemic, write our parliamentary staff.

Shadow finance spokesman Oliver Letwin called for special measures during the second reading debate on the Bill in the Commons this week as MPs prepared to leave Westminster for their Easter holidays.

The package includes measures to speed up VAT refunds owed to hoteliers or farmers with a bed and breakfast business, designed to improve their cashflow situation.

Letwin also said measures should be introduced to help other sole affected traders who, under current rules, might be forced to make income tax payments that they do not in the event become eligible to pay.

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