The Farming Social Hub - a voice for the farming community

HMRC urged to remove added burden of plastic tax

A proposed tax on silage wrap is due to come into force from April 2022 but a large body of farming groups are urging the HMRC to have a rethink.

Farm business margins are already being hit hard by increased costs in energy, transport, materials, fertilisers and labour and this is yet another cost that will hit the farming industry’s margins.

The proposed tax on silage wrap is a deviation from previous consultations with DEFRA. The silage wrap had originally been classified as a ‘product’, not ‘packaging’, as it was not used to transport goods from the producer to the final seller.

The National Sheep Association (NSA) is leading calls for a rethink. NSA chief executive Phil Stocker said: ‘The potential additional cost of PPT on silage wrap to UK farmers is estimated to be equivalent to an extra 10 per cent in costs. That in itself is bad enough at a time when most inputs costs are increasing but it’s made even worse by new trade deals with countries that are not subject to the same costs. These trade deals will prevent the option of simply passing additional costs on to the consumer.’

The NSA acknowledges the need to reduce plastic use but at present there does not exist an alternative that will properly ferment the grass and have a 30 per cent recyclable content. The organisation is calling for an exemption to the tax while an alternative is developed.