28 June 2002

Pesticide tax is still on agenda

JUNIOR DEFRA minister Lord Whitty has delivered a thinly-veiled warning that a pesticide tax is still on the governments agenda.

Speaking at the Sprays and Sprayers event, he said tangible results from the Voluntary Initiative – the cross-industry programme set up to minimise the environmental impacts of pesticides – needed to be seen soon.

"We want to see results from this Voluntary Initiative. The process started 15 months ago and we expect environmental outcomes within the five-year period to which we have committed."

A pesticide tax remains "in the governments back pocket" as an alternative "effective but crude" policy, he warned, and farmers needed to sign up to the measures proposed by the initiative.

"The number of farms which take up the Voluntary Initiative is fundamental to achieving the required environmental benefits," he said.

lFor more from Sprays and Sprayers see Arable p49 and next weeks Machinery section. &#42