8 December 2000

Input tax is still waiting in wings…

A PESTICIDE tax remains a real threat which the industry must unite to fight. But the government remains vague about what it wants and it is unlikely to introduce a tax in the Budget next spring.

"Since the government rejected the industrys last voluntary package of proposals as an alternative to the tax the issue seems to have been effectively parked," says David Scorer, managing director of DowAgrosciences.

It is likely to remain on hold until after the next election, when environment and treasury officials will restart negotiations

He says the tax is misguided and government explanations of what it wants the industry to do instead remain vague.

Different rates of tax could push cost-conscious growers into using the wrong product for a job, he adds. It would also leave growers less competitive.

"It hasnt gone away and it is something we must fight if we want to remain competitive, particularly with countries like Spain which have no such tax."