Something for Osborne to chew on

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CHANCELLOR George Osborne is being urged to introduce a tax on chewing gum – and use the cash raised to help clean streets and pavements.

A motion tabled at Holyrood, and backed by Edinburgh Central SNP MSP Marco Biagi, asks the Scottish Parliament to call on Mr Osborne to impose the levy on chewing gum manufacturers and distribute the proceeds to local authorities.

Mr Biagi said: “Chewing gum is a particularly hard form of litter to get rid of. In 2004 the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs put the cost of cleaning it up at over £150 million per year across the UK, and that falls on the taxpayer.

“I’d prefer manufacturers switch to biodegradeable alternatives voluntarily, but if not then a levy to pay for the cost of clean up would be the only way forward. It would be a very small price to pay for very much cleaner streets.”