§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what studies his Department carried out into the impact of a pesticides tax on the costs of small and medium-sized distributors of such products. 
§ Mr. Battle
My Department has been closely involved with the extensive research work which DETR has 263W commissioned on the feasibility of an economic instrument to assist in delivering the Government's pesticides minimisation policy. The research has included assessment of the effects of such an instrument on the competitiveness of distributors.
My Department has not carried out any separate studies, but has asked the British Agrochemicals Association to work with the UK Agricultural Supply Trade Association, to provide information on the structure of the industry in order to further assess the impact on distributors and manufacturers.