1 October 1999

Levy a tax too far

THE governments proposed pesticides levy would be a tax too far, according to the Country Landowners Association.

"It would do untold harm without any real environmental gain," says CLA regional director for Warks and Leics Berty Bowes.

Such a tax would leave UK farmers less competitive, he warns. "Cereal producers would either have to increase their costs or reduce pesticide use to a level where grain quality would inevitably deteriorate. Our customers demand the best quality grain and because of this the door would be left wide open for our overseas competitors, with knock-on effects for the rural economy.

"That is doubly unacceptable because there is no green argument for a new tax. As the governments own consultants have pointed out, there is no evidence that proper use of pesticides is causing harm to the environment."

Indeed a new tax might be bad for the environment, he argues. It could encourage farmers to use older, cheaper pesticides. &#42

Swingeing new taxes on pesticides and energy could cost farmers a fortune. Dont let the government tax you out of business. Write to your MP now, pointing out:

&#8226 The severe financial consequences for your farm and local suppliers;

&#8226 Unlikely benefits for environment, consumers or operators;

&#8226 Shaky basis in science;

&#8226 Confused and unmeasurable aims.

Put an end to these iniquitous proposals – write to your MP NOW before it is too late.