MP brokers skip crisis talks at Parliament
A Labour MP has invited senior Government figures including prime minister David Cameron to emergency talks in an attempt to thrash out a deal over the controversial landfill tax hikes.
Siobhain McDonagh, MP for Mitcham and Morden, has written to Cameron and his senior team to convene the meeting with skip operators at the House of Commons on Thursday 31 May.
In a letter to skip operators, McDonagh said: “We will be inviting the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Exchequer Secretary [a Treasury Minister], and their representatives.
“Also invited will be Labour spokespeople Chuka Umunna [Shadow Business Secretary], Ed Balls [Shadow Chancellor], and Rachel Reeves [Shadow Secretary to the Treasury].”
The move follows skip operators threatening to block the streets of London over the Jubilee weekend after the Government announced tax clarifications which have seen the tax cost of disposing of certain materials increase by a staggering 2,460% overnight.
MRW’s reporting of the dispute as been picked up by national media, including a reference in The Sun newspaper.
Meanwhile, the Plant, Waste and Recycling Show’s petition “Say no to increased landfill tax and rising fuel costs” has already attracted nearly 1,500 signatures.
Skip operators and smaller waste firms who deal with construction and demolition and commercial waste say the move threatens to kill off a raft of small and medium size disposal outfits.
The change that’s rocked the industry
So-called “inert” fines from trommels and screens (material that is not going to contaminate landfill and does not count towards the EU biodegradable landfill targets) was charged at the lower landfill tax rate of £2.50.
But now merchants will have to pay the same full rate of £64-a-tonne to landfill which is paid for “active” material, including non-inert fines that can be biodegrade and create methane.
In addition, waste or material used to cover waste in landfill areas before they are capped will also be taxed at the full rate. This had previously been regarded as “engineering material”, such as bund walls and caps.
The move, outlined in a HMRC briefing document published on 18 May, relates to a judgement in the HMRC v Waste Recycling Group (2008) case.