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Candidates standing in rural constituencies in next month's general election have been urged to prioritise ending the digital divide.

According to the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), addressing connectivity issues is one of the main challenges the next government must address if it is to "deliver for the countryside".

The organisation therefore wants politicians of all parties to commit to improving digital provision in rural areas. 

Boosting house building, implementing a simpler and more cost-effective planning system and applying a tax regime that encourages rather than discriminates against rural businesses were flagged up as other key issues rural candidates need to address.

Ross Murray, President of the CLA, commented: "Delivering universal 4G mobile coverage is essential to modern rural life and by treating diversified rural businesses as single businesses for tax purposes will end the discrimination they currently face and allow for growth and better productivity."

Mr Murray added that every candidate seeking election in a rural constituency must be able to demonstrate how they will "stand up for farming and the countryside".

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