11 January 2001
Pollution charges still too high- Union

By FWi staff

THE National Farmers Union has warned ministers that proposed Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control charges remain too high despite being slashed.

The proposed minimum fee has been reduced from 12,000 to 2950 and annual charges have been cut from 5500 to 1975.

But the NFU 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.

“In addition they fail to reflect the governments commitment to weigh up the benefits against the impact on the industrys competitiveness.”

The NFU is planning to meet with the Environment Agency, the Department of the Environment and MAFF later this month to discuss the issue further.