‘Retailers have major concerns over bag levy’ – NIIRTA

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Monday, April 8th, 2013
With today (8th April) seeing the introduction of the Carrier Bag Levy, the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has expressed major concerns over the scheme but pledged to work with the DOE on its implementation. NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said, “While we have major concerns with the Carrier Bag Levy we will work with the DOE to ensure that its implementation causes minimum disruption to our members. “NIIRTA shares Minister Attwood’s objective of reducing the amount of carrier bags in circulation and that end up in landfill sites. “We believe that sensible changes to the scheme, such as capping it at 5p, letting retailers distribute the levy proceeds to local charities as is the case in Wales and dropping some of the ridiculously high fines should be made. “NIIRTA is concerned that the collecting and administration of the levy may pose a real burden on our members and we will be closely monitoring this over the next few months. Roberts added, “We believe that this is the wrong stealth tax at the wrong time. During this recession small retailers should be focused on running their shops rather than tax collecting for the DOE. This will also add to the burden of hard working families who will have to pay for this. “A better course of action would have been to encourage and educate consumers to reuse and recycle carrier bags as many of our members were doing, rather than slapping a tax on them.”
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