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Labour’s Gardiner says Government ‘failing on all counts’

Shadow waste and recycling minister Barry Gardiner has condemned the Government’s policy on waste and called for clear direction on investment in the sector.

Recent statements by resources minister Dan Rogerson have indicated Defra’s activities in the waste sector will be scaled back because of budget cuts. Chancellor George Osborne has also so far failed to outline future plans on landfill tax, and Government infrastructure plans have not prioritised waste projects.

But Gardiner told MRW the industry needed “clarity, certainty and stability”.

He said that although UK businesses were recognising the commercial benefits of recycling and reuse, ministers “appear no longer to believe in an active role for Government”.

He added: “This is an industry that should be central to the nation’s drive for growth, yet ministers have signalled a major retreat from the ambitions that they inherited.

“If the Government is now determined to step back from investment in waste and recycling infrastructure, it must rapidly set out a better plan for how it will achieve the reductions in waste to landfill and the need for Britain increasingly to become resource resilient.”

Gardiner criticised the lack of direction on landfill tax and said industry needed to know when the Green Investment Bank will be given borrowing powers to leverage finance from private markets to “de-risk investment in the sector”.

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