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Northern Ireland Assembly to debate 15p plastic bag tax

A 15p price tag could be placed on plastic shopping bags under a scheme aimed at protecting the environment.

The proposal for a plastic bag levy will be brought before the Assembly today by Sinn Fein MLA Daithi McKay.

The North Antrim representative said he hopes to secure support for the legislation which he believes could also help raise revenue.

Mr McKay will introduce a Private Member's Bill in the Assembly today that will propose the levy.

"Plastic bag litter is a blight on our countryside and our environment and it is a significant problem that the general public would like to see addressed," he said.

"A levy will significantly reduce the amount of plastic bags in circulation and will help ensure that consumers make the choice of reusing bags rather than accepting a plastic carrier bag every time they go to a shop till."

The Sinn Fein representative's proposals come as his party is locked in talks with the DUP and other parties on agreeing a new budget for the Stormont Assembly.

Mr McKay said of his proposal: "I look forward to the Assembly debating this legislation.

"During this time of economic austerity it is an innovative way of raising revenue which will have minimal impact on people's lives."

Belfast Telegraph