Meeting allays fears of enforced pesticide tax

30 March 2001

Meeting allays fears of enforced pesticide tax

FEARS that the pesticide tax could be imposed if the package of voluntary measures developed by the industry fails to deliver environmental benefits by next spring have been allayed.

In its Budget report, the Treasury said it wanted to see environmental benefits beyond those expected from a pesticide tax before the next Budget (Arable, 16 Mar).

But at a meeting with the industrys stewardship consortium last Thursday, financial secretary Stephen Timms said the difficulties of proving environmental benefits in such a short period were understood.

"What they are wanting is evidence that we are on track to deliver the expected environmental benefits in future," says Crop Protection Association director general Anne Buckenham. She believes the group can hit the milestones towards that goal as laid out in its package of measures, foot-and-mouth permitting.

Oversight of the stewardship programme has passed from the Treasury to the Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions, which will oversee the implementation of the package from Apr 1.

A steering group is to be approved by June 1 and that groups independent chairman will report progress ahead of the November pre-Budget statement and next springs Budget. &#42

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