Bio-Fuels Opportunity Missed . .

Article excerpt

Byline: FARMING LIFE REPORTER

THE Nationial Farmers' Union of England and Wales believes the Chancellor missed a great opportunity to create a new industry and demonstrate a vision for the future when he failed to include a meaningful boost to green fuels in his Pre-Budget Report.

NFU president, Ben Gill, said the Government had failed to provide the necessary support to get the green fuel industry off the ground.

"The Chancellor's decision to reduce the duty on bio-ethanol by 20 pence per litre merely brings the duty on this green fuel into line with that of bio-diesel, which is insufficient to provide any impetus to developing the bio-fuel industry."

In July the Government dropped the duty rate on bio diesel to the level announced today for bio ethanol, but so far such a small amount of bio- diesel has been produced that it would be lucky to run 30 lorries for a year.

NFU Alternative Crops chairman, Rad Thomas, said: "This is a classic Government tax reduction that sounds good but is all but meaningless.

"It is insufficient to encourage meaningful production and investment. Ultimately the Government's lack of support for this industry will constrain it to the level of recycling chip shop oil and nothing more.

"What the country needed was the Government to take the lead and deliver an environment that encouraged growers to produce bio fuel crops and the private sector to invest in processing facilities. It has failed to do so.''

The NFU expressed alarm at several other measures in the Pre-Budget Report, particulary the plan to increase the cost of disposing of waste at landfills. …