19 January 2001

IPPC charges too high despite cut

THE NFU says that despite securing a 50% cut in Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) charges the rates still are too high for most pig and poultry producers.

Lobbying has reduced the proposed minimum application fee from £12,000 to £2950 and the annual charge from £5500 to £1975, but the union says the charges are still among the highest in Europe.

In other member states the impact on agriculture has been reduced by discounting applications costs or annual fees or even waiving them altogether.

NFU vice-president Michael Paske said: "So far we have been unable to determine how the Environment Agency has calculated these fees. They fail to reflect the governments commitment to weigh up the benefits against the impact on the industrys competitiveness."

The NFU is seeking further discussions with the Department of the Environment, the Environment Ag-ency and MAFF later this month. &#42