UUP Environmental spokesperson Danny Kinahan has called for further clarity from the Environment Minister over his recent announcement of a levy on single use carrier bags across Northern Ireland.
Danny Kinahan MLA said:
“The Ulster Unionist Party has been calling for the introduction of a single use carrier bag tax for a number of years, however we consistently argued that it should have been environmentally rather than financially motivated.
“We note that he has announced of a 10p levy on all single use carrier bags. However it is disappointing that he has failed to provide the clarity that I and those within the retail market have been seeking.’
“Questions remain as to whether this tax will be levied against all bags. When this came up last year I and my colleagues called for a levy against black bin liners, which are proven to be particularly damaging to the environment.’
“It is vital to consult with stakeholders, particularly small, independent business owners. At a time of severe economic difficulty a 10 tax coming into effect in April 2014 has the potential to place additional, unprecedented operating pressures on these businesses.’
“I am encouraged that the Department has finally progressed this issue. I genuinely hope that they bear in mind that any additional change will have small businesses and the customers.’