1 March 2000
Climate levy get-out for farmers?

FARMERS could be included in new concessions which the government is considering under its proposed climate change levy.

On Tuesday (29 February) Environment minister Michael Meacher signalled that an 80% discount on the tax offered to a range of energy-intensive industries could be extended.

Farming, and businesses in water treatment and supply and electricity, could be offered the discount, reports the Financial Times.

Speaking at the launch of a sustainable development strategy for the West Midlands, Mr Meacher indicated the government was prepared to shift. “We are looking to see whether we can widen the scope for the discount to other deserving sectors where there is a rationale, a legal case and it fits in with EU rules.”

Farming leaders have lobbied for energy-intensive sectors such such as horticulture to be exempted from the “green levy”.

Earlier this week, NFU president Ben Gill wrote to the Prime Minister arguing that horticulture had already made great strides in being more energy efficient.

He warned that the tax would decimate the UK horticulture industry.

NFU officials and Treasury minister Stephen Timms met last month to try to find a solution to this issue.