1 February 2000
Treasury drops pesticide tax plan
By FWi staff
THE government has decided not to proceed with the introduction of a pesticide tax in the Budget.
Instead, it will seek to minimise the environmental impact of pesticides through voluntary action by the agrochemicals industry.
This follows discussions with agrochemical industry body the British Agrochemicals Association.
Stephen Timms, financial secretary to the Treasury, said: “The government is committed to minimising the environmental impact of pesticides use, consistent with adequate crop protection.
“The proposals brought forward by the British Agrochemicals Association form a useful basis for discussing with the industry and other interested parties what form a partnership approach might take.
“Subject to further discussions, the Chancellor will not proceed with the introduction of a pesticides tax in the Budget.”
This announcement coincided with a speech by Prime Minister Tony Blair to 1000 farmers at the National Farmers Union annual general meeting.
Many delegates are unhappy with reports that the Prime Minister would not be offering any financial aid to the industry, which is suffering its worst crisis for 50 years.
Opponents to the pesticides tax argued this would have placed yet another burden on cash-strapped farmers.