HC Deb 16 January 1979 vol 960 c720W
Mr. Lomas

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the differences between the effluent charges on the Yorkshire wool scouring industry and those charged to its principal European competitors.

Mr. Denis Howell

All member States of the EEC have accepted the principle that the costs of action taken to combat pollution should be borne by the polluter, as laid down in Council recommendation of 3rd March 1975 regarding cost allocation by public authorities on environmental matters. However, circumstances vary between countries and exact comparisons are difficult. The joint working party of the Yorkshire water authority and the wool textile delegation, which reported on the problem of trade effluent charges in this context in May 1978, identified from comparisons with France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Italy that charges for high-strength low-volume discharges in Yorkshire were second only to Holland. It also noted that water charges in Europe were generally higher than in Yorkshire.