5 March 2001
Green tax would ‘rub salt in wounds’

By FWi staff

IMPOSING a pesticide tax on top of the foot-and-mouth crisis would rub salt in the wounds of UK farming, claim agrochemical companies representatives.

This could add 125 million a year to crippling costs borne by an industry already suffering a livestock crisis, warns the Crop Protection Association.

Chancellor Gordon Brown is set to announce on whether he will introduce the tax in the Budget on Wednesday (07 March).

“We have said for the past two years that a pesticide tax would deal a mortal blow to many farmers,” said Dr Anne Buckenham, director general of the CPA.

“To impose one now would show total insensitivity to the current crisis.”

She said the proposed tax would strangle export hopes as growers would be up against farmers from other countries not handicapped by such taxes.

Dr Buckenham said Mr Brown “would earn considerable credit in the countryside” if he accepted self-regulatory proposals put forward by the CPA.

“Organisations in the partnership have committed many millions of pounds a year for the next five years to make these proposals work,” she said.

“We should be given the chance to deliver our commitment, protect the environment and help to save UK farming in the process.”

The Ministry of Agriculture had confirmed 70 cases of foot-and-mouth disease by Monday (05 March) lunchtime.

Foot-and-mouth – confirmed outbreaks
Foot-and-mouth – FWi coverage