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Council leaders urge landfill tax freeze

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called on the Treasury to freeze landfill tax and redistribute revenues to local taxpayers.

The tax is set to increase to £80 per tonne in April, and the Chancellor is expected to announce future levels of the levy in the Budget on 19 March.

In its budget submission, the LGA urged Chancellor George Osborne to keep the tax at its present rate of £72 per tonne. It said there was no evidence that an increase in landfill tax will increase recycling levels.

The association also asked that the proceeds from the tax be given to councils, to be invested in local recycling projects.

It estimated that in 2014/15 each household will pay £30 towards landfill tax.

Cllr Mike Jones, chair of the LGA’s environment and housing board, said that the landfill tax was “punishing taxpayers” as they saw no returns from it.

“Instead of using the receipts from the tax to boost recycling technologies and reward residents for the gains made in recycling levels, the Treasury has held onto receipts,” he said.

“We need a clear indication from the Chancellor that this tax will be frozen at its present rate, with the money raised from it returned to taxpayers and invested in growth,” he added.

The LGA’s stance on landfill tax echoes requests of some members of the waste industry. In an interview with MRW, Veolia’s director Estelle Brachlianoff said that the landfill tax should be kept at the current level or aligned to inflation for it not to become “counterproductive”.

In contrast, the British Plastics Federation has reiterated its request for landfill tax to be increased to £200 per tonne.

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