Green Partys local councillors, Bill Corry
(Downpatrick) and Ciaran Mussen (Newry and Mourne)
proposed a tax on plastic bags to help fund a new
environmental watchdog, when they met today with
a Panel responsible for a review of environmental
Greens also welcomed the imminent abolition of Crown
Immunity which provides a wholesale amnesty
for some of our Government-sponsored polluters
including the Water Service.
Ciaran Mussen told the independent Panel, Tom Burke
(Chair), Sharon Turner, and Gordon Bell: The
introduction of a plastic bag tax in the Republic
of Ireland has been an outstanding popular success
and an example to be followed. We could use such
a levy to raise millions of pounds to help fund
a robust, independent Environmental Protection Agency
in Northern Ireland, which remains the only part
of these islands with such a body.
Bill Corry added: The Green Party left the
Panel in no doubt that we view the reform of environmental
governance as an urgent task, which must restore
public confidence that Government Departments will
take a lead in protecting our most valuable asset.
Brian Wilson (North Down), welcomed the prospect
of an independent EPA and the abolition of Crown
Immunity, recalling that both are core demands in
the Partys Manifesto.
Green Party presented an extensive list of recommendations
to the Panel, including, proposals for: