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The price of milk could drop even further

Some dairy farmers could get even less for their milk Credit: PA

Dairy farmers across the region were hit by another financial blow today - as it emerged many of them are to get even less for their milk.

It will affect farmers who have contracts with Dairy Crest to supply milk to Davidstow - the North Cornwall based creamery.

From 3 January - they will get 1.25p less per litre for their milk - that's just under 28p per litre. Last April they were getting around 34p.

Over the last few months the message from farmers here - is that they are struggling to break even. Some are even wondering if there's a future in the industry

We are prepared for worse to follow as we know that China has stopped buying hugely - the Russian ban has added insult to injury on that front.

And also we've had a brilliant year for production. Production has been racing ahead worldwide so you have supply and demand issues only likely to head one way as it stands.

– andy branton Dairy farmer

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Exeter-based Flybe responds to Autumn Statement

Exeter-based Flybe has welcomed George Osbourne's announcement that air passenger duty is to be scrapped for children under 12 from next year.

“The scrapping of Air Passenger Duty (APD) on flights for children under the age of 12 is to be welcomed. However, this is just tinkering at the edges and represents a missed opportunity by The Chancellor to show that he is serious about the economic regeneration of the UK regions. Despite continuing to engage with the government to emphasise the unfairness of APD, the needs of our regional passengers are still being ignored.

“It’s time for the Chancellor to seriously listen to the UK regions and deliver reform quickly, to ensure the government does not inflict further damage to the UK’s aspirations for economic growth.”

“The Smith Commission’s recommendations to devolve APD to the Scottish Government shows progress, and we believe its implementation would demonstrate the benefits ofcutting or abolishing the tax to other nations or regions within the UK, which in turn would deliver a balanced economic recovery.”

– Flybe’s Chief Executive Saad Hammad
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Osborne announces stamp duty overhaul

Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans for a total overhaul of the "badly-designed" stamp duty system paid on the purchases of homes.

The reform will mean new marginal rates that the Chancellor says will mean a stamp duty cut for 98% of homebuyers.

  • No tax on first £125,000 paid
  • 2% on the portion up to £250,000
  • 5% up to £925,000
  • 10% up to £1.5 million
  • 12% on everything over that
  1. National

Air Passenger Duty to be scrapped for all children

Air Passenger Duty will be scrapped for all children by 2016, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

George Osborne hopes his announcement will reduce the cost of flights for families. Credit: PA Wire

"We’re going to require airlines to list the charges separately from taxes on tickets, but I also want to reduce the cost of those tickets for families directly.

"From the 1st May next year, Air Passenger Duty for children under 12 will be abolished. From the following year, we’ll get rid of APD for children under 16 altogether."

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi tweeted: "Birmingham family with 2 young children welcomes cut in air passenger duty."

"They will save £170 on planned flight to Dubai."

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Devon farm is harvesting raspberries in winter

It's a bit late in the year for raspberry picking. Or is it? Credit: ITV News

A fruit farm in Mid Devon is continuing to harvest raspberries and it's December.

It's the latest in the year they've ever done so at Stockley Pomeroy near Crediton. A mild autumn following an ideal summer has meant perfect growing conditions.

They're not ruling out being able to pick the fruit on Christmas Day.

It might take a minus five to actually stop them. Or the light levels. As the light levels drop as we go towards the shortest day, it could well be that they don't ripen properly.

But we'll just have to wait and see because it's new territory for us really - to be this far into the autumn.

– anthony thorne, Farmer

Fears that Hinkley nuclear plant is being delayed

The site for the proposed nuclear power station in the shadow of the existing reactors Credit: ITV News

There are growing fears that the European Commission is delaying the building of a new power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. It's still to sign off all the building regulations surrounding the project.

Today Labour south west MEP Claire Moody will meet the Commission to try to speed up the process.

VAT refunds for air ambulances & rescue helicopters

Search and rescue helicopter based at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall Credit: ITV News

As part of the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor is to announce VAT refunds for Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance charities alongside £7.5 million extra support for air ambulances.

The VAT refunds will be worth £25 million over 5 years.

It is in response to the service the UK’s Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance charities provide, volunteering their time and expertise to support to emergency services.

At the moment, most Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance charities cannot claim VAT back on their search and rescue activities but this means they will all be able to apply for VAT refunds for them as of 1 April 2015.

Plymouth billionaire to give prisoners a pep talk

Plymouth's first home-gown billionaire is going to prison today, but just as a guest.

The founder of the Range chain of discount stores, Chris Dawson, will be in Dartmoor today. He is giving prisoners a pep talk on how to make an honest living.

His chain of a hundred stores and other enterprises are said to have earned him more than £1.2 billion but can still be seen working at weekends in his first store in Plymouth.

Dartmoor Prison. Credit: PA
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