Rebuke for secrecy over pesticide tax
PARLIAMENTS Environmen-tal Audit Committee has att-acked the government for being too slow and secretive about the possible introduction of a pesticide tax.
In a report published on Tues-day, the committee challenged the government, as part of the forthcoming budget, to start delivering against its commitment to introduce environmental taxation measures.
"There is no need to conduct policy behind firmly closed doors.
"We urge the government to publish the results of its work on taxing fertilisers, pesticides and point sources of water pollution and to make clear the current stage in its thinking," the report stated.
Environment and treasury ministers have been working on the possible introduction of a tax for some months, despite strong reservations from farm ministers.
And there has been considerable frustration within the industry at the governments failure to give any indication of when a decision might be reached.
But one audit committee member said of all the measures the government is considering, a pesticide tax was one that was probably nearest to being ready. *