30 October 1998

Pesticide tax has wider implication

TAXING pesticides would have wide ranging consequences which the government is only just beginning to recognise, according to the British Agrochemicals Association.

A recent House of Lords debate reinforces that view, says the BAAs Martin Savage. "The government only just appears to be realising that it is not a simple issue and that the effects on UK agriculture and its competitiveness have been overlooked."

The findings of a recently completed study on the subject, the Ecotec Report, are still being considered which suggests legislation to bring in a pesticides tax could be delayed, says Mr Savage.

A pre-budget statement, expected next month, is unlikely to do more than flag the governments intention to continue investigating or, at worst, considering a tax, he adds.