Tax breaks set to boost funds for flood works for Suffolk coast

Coastal and flood defence work along Suffolk’s vulnerable and beautiful coastline could receive a big boost thanks to a new initiative to encourage businesses to help with projects.

It is hoped that the removal of the tax burden from schemes will give business owners the incentive to protect their own coastal facilities as well as joining local partnerships putting together projects for the benefit of the community.

Chancellor George Osborne announced the tax benefits in his Autumn Statement and they are expected to come into force from January.

Andy Smith, deputy leader of Suffolk Coastal council and cabinet member for coastal management, and who is also the chairman of the Coastal Group of the Local Government Association, said: “Many people may have missed it, but the Chancellor’s statement contained great news for flood and coastal erosion defence work, both locally and nationally. In his statement, the Chancellor revealed that the Government will bring in legislation to make business contributions to flood defence schemes tax deductible.

“This is an idea the we, both in Suffolk and through the Local Government Association

nationally, have been championing for some time and have been discussing with Government ministers in a series of recent meetings.

“This is great news, as it should help increase the amount of money available for sea defences, as businesses who build flood defences or contribute to partnership schemes will be able to offset their costs against tax and will also mean that more partnership schemes will qualify also for direct contributions from government grants via the Environment Agency.

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“The result should be greater funding for this crucial work to safeguard our coastline for current and future generations.”

Mr Osborne said flood defences would be deductible expenditure for corporation tax and income tax purposes for businesses.

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