13 December 2000
Climate levy cut for pigs, poultry
By Alistair Driver
PIG and poultry farmers will only pay 20% of the climate change levy if they meet energy reduction targets agreed by farming groups and the Government.
To achieve an 80% reduction from the levy after it is introduced on 02 April, 2001, pig farmers will have to cut energy consumption by 16% over 10 years.
Poultry meat producers will have a target of 13% and egg farmers 11.5%.
Back in February 1999, the Department of the Environment agreed to an 80% reduction for pig and poultry farmers if they cut energy use over 10 years.
But industry organisations said energy reductions targets of 29% for the pig sector, 24% for poultry farmers and 20% for egg producers were too high.
It has taken until now to agree acceptable levels, an NFU spokesman said.
NFU president Ben Gill said: “These agreements do require real reductions in energy use, but ones which are far less of a problem for farmers than those initially proposed.
“It also important to remember that energy saved is an input cost saved.”
But, while the NFU is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the levy is not the best way of achieving this objective, he said.
Ulster Farmers Union president Douglas Rowe said: “We are currently making arrangements for Union members to receive an application pack in the New Year, and I hope they will benefit from this exemption.”
Other organisations which lobbied for change include the British Egg Industry Council and the National Pig Association.