Food agency levy plan ditched
By FWi staff
THE government has ditched plans to make food retailers, including farmers with farm shops, to pay 90 a year to fund the Food Standards Agency.
The Food Standards Bill, setting up the Food Standards Agency, was introduced into the House of Commons yesterday (Thursday).
According to todays Evening Standard, the decision to scrap the 90 levy was made after a personal intervention by Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Mr Blair backed agriculture minister Nick Brown who opposed the idea of a levy which was proposed by former agriculture minister Jack Cunningham, says the paper.
The cost of running the agency will now be picked up by the taxpayer with money already allocated to joint MAFF and health budgets transferred to agency coffers.