Future Of Rural Policy: From Sectoral To Place-based by Organization for Economic Cooperation &

By Organization for Economic Cooperation &

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Rural tourism brings in GBP 9 billion from day visits by UK residents and GBP 4 billion from trips of one night or more. Going to the countryside and its small towns and villages together accounted for 42% of all trips taken in England in 2000 – some 140 million trips. But a range of other businesses were also hit by the closure of the countryside. So a package of short-term measures were put in place to assist affected rural economies, including: an GBP 80 million Business Recovery Fund, to help small businesses equip themselves to take advantage of new market opportunities after foot-and-mouth disease; interest-free deferral of income tax, Value Added Tax and National Insurance Contributions; increased funding for local authorities to provide property tax relief for businesses facing hardship; GBP 15 million to match charitable donations towards relief of hardship; GBP 18 million for tourism promotion; and nearly GBP 4 million to 36 help local authorities reopen footpaths – places where our people had rights of way.

The presentations underpinning this session analysed three country cases. Mr. g. affordable housing, transport, rural services and stakeholder involvement). He also explained the main changes brought about in the policy framework in order to better tackle rural problems in his country. Mr. Mark Drabenstott, Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City reviewed the changes affecting rural America and discussed the shift from sector to place and from subsidies to comparative advantages that increasingly confront US rural policy.

In the UK, income from the traditional rural activity of farming has declined, leaving tourism as the predominant economic activity. Responding to this trend, the UK government has adopted a new approach to rural policy, apparent in the recent creation of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. In co-operation and partnership with Regional Development Agencies, the Department’s objectives are to maintain a sustainable natural environment, sustainable rural economies and communities and a competitive farming industry.

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