George Osborne’s Budget included policy statements on waste and environmental taxes, landfill sites, metals recycling and packaging targets.
Waste and other environmental taxes
Landfill tax rates - Confirmed increase the standard rate of landfill tax by £8 per tonne to £72 per tonne from 1 April 2013. The lower rate of landfill tax will remain frozen at £2.50 per tonne in 2013-14. (Finance Bill 2012)
Landfill communities fund - The value of the landfill communities fund for 2012-13 will remain unchanged at £78.1m. As a result, the cap on contributions by landfill operators will be amended to 5.6%. Future decisions on the value of the fund will take into account the level of unspent funds held by environmental bodies.
Scottish landfill sites - Retrospective legislation in Finance Bill 2012 to correct landfill tax legislation in relation to the definition of a landfill site. The legislation will align the position in Scotland with the rest of the UK, with effect from 21 March 2000. (Finance Bill 2012)
Budget 2012 announces that energy used in certain metal recycling processes will be liable to a reduced rate of 20% of the main rates from 1 April 2012. (Finance Bill 2012)
The Government will legislate later in 2012 for increased statutory packaging recycling targets from 2013 to 2017. Targets will increase annually by 3% for aluminium, 5% for plastic and 1% for steel. Glass recycling targets will be split by end use.
Extracts of the Chancellor’s speech:
(NB: Points presented in the order they were delivered, starting from the bottom)
Vehicle excise duty frozen for road hauliers.
Small firms will be taxed on the amount of cash passing through their businesses rather than “more complicated methods” used for large companies
Corporation tax to be cut by an additional 1% this April. It will be set at 22% by 2014.
Former Deputy PM Lord Heseltine to review how government departments encourage private sector growth.
Radical shakeup of planning laws with the publication of the National Planning Policy Framework next Tuesday. Osborne said the plan would be the “biggest reduction in planning red tape in a generation”. The framework will replace more than 1,200 pages of planning guidance with a new 52-page document. (During consultation in 2011, the Environmental Services Association (ESA) raised concerns that there was little mention of the waste sector in the draft proposals.)
We will introduce a presumption in favour of sustainable development.
Government will consult on simplifying the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency scheme to reduce administrative burdens on business. Should very significant administrative savings not be deliverable, the Government will bring forward proposals in autumn 2012 to replace CRC revenues with an alternative environmental tax, and will engage with business before then to identify potential options. He also announced an exemption for CHP plants. That should be good news for some energy-from-waste operators and some energy intensive reprocessors with CHP plants
We’ve introduced a Carbon Price Floor into our tax system to encourage investment and set the rate today. Combined Heat and Power plants will not be liable to carbon price support rates on fuels used for heat.
New enterprise zones in Scotland and Wales
Announces Greater Manchester city deal.Supporting £150m of tax-increment financing across the sector.
The chancellor says he wants to double exports to £1 trillion by the end of the decade.
A new £70m development fund will be set up for London.
Britain is rebuilding its reserves. Gold holdings are now £11bn.
The government is saving £36bn in debt interest payments compared with Labour.
Borrowing this year will be £126bn this year and £120bn next year. It will be £21bn by 2016/17.
Public sector net debt will still peak in 2014-15 but at 76.3%, almost 2% lower than previous forecast level of 78.0%
“No need to tighten further”
OBR growth forecasts for UK: this year - (minus) 0.8%; next year - 2%; 2014 - 2.7%; 3% in 2015 and 2016
OBR outlook broadly unchanged. Expects positive growth in Q1 this year. Slightly revising up their growth forecasts for the year to 0.8%. … but “stability comes first”.
Modern infrastructure, business-friendly planning rules promised…
George Osborne begins his Budget speech, “a Budget that rewards work”.
- Beforehand, reprocessors urged Osborne to give the UK plastics recycling market a boost by shaking up the producer responsibility system.
- Waste chiefs also called for tax incentives to unlock the growth potential of the industry.