NBA argues case for targeted use of levy
Published:  18 April, 2007

Beef levy, previously raised by the MLC, should be delivered directly to EBLEX and then used exclusively to assist with the development of the struggling beef sector when the re-modelled system, with Levy Board UK (LBUK) at its head, is introduced in

April 2008.

That is the verdict of the National Beef Association (NBA), which pointed out that Defra clearly indicated that the new levy board structure was being designed to give levy payers more control over levy spending and that money collected from a sector should only be used to further the interests of the same sector.

NBA vice-chairman, Frank Momber, said: "The NBA would be unhappy if beef levy was handed first to LBUK - especially if some was siphoned off for jointly funded projects with other sector companies that beef levy payers would not necessarily support, before the balance was handed to EBLEX.

"LBUK has been constructed to assist with the reduction of running costs and increasing administrative efficiency. The NBA has always supported this concept and appreciates that some beef levy must be used to assist LBUK with its running costs."

However, he added: "We are against the idea that large research projects, possibly connected with climate change and global warning, should be among those which could be funded with levy payers' money when other, more general funding sources are clearly much more suitable.

"Beef levy is a precision tool that should only be used for beef. A huge majority of farmers are still facing persistent losses and this makes it all the more necessary that the little levy income there is should be used exclusively to help them come out of the red and eventually dig out some profit."