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Landfill tax is "too high", says pressure group

Pressure group Taxpayers Alliance has acknowledged that landfill tax deters local authorities from sending waste to landfill but said that the tax needs to be cut.

The landfill tax is paid by businesses and local authorities who dispose of waste at landfill sites.

The group published a report entitled, The burden of green taxes, in which it said that the Government raised £0.9 billion from landfill tax revenue.

Policy analyst Matthew Sinclair said: Landfill tax is now clearly too high and a disproportionate burden. It is also leading to a significant inconvenience for residents across the country and should be cut.

Our politicians need to get a grip on public spending and bring down taxes and stop trying to disguise tax hikes through environmental rhetoric.

Sinclair acknowledged that local authorities were deterred from sending waste to landfill because of the tax but said that it was too high.

Landfill tax is currently £32 per tonne. The Local Government Association has said that profits made from the landfill tax should be ploughed back into local authority recycling services.

A Local Government Association spokesman said: The issue with us is not so much how high the landfill tax is, but what happens to the landfill tax revenues afterwards. Our main problem is that it goes to the coffers of the treasury rather than being invested back into local authority recycling services.

He said that the ball was now in the Governments court to see if they will review their policies to use the money for councils recycling services.

A Treasury spokesman said: We are providing incentives for business to reduce waste through increases to landfill tax that will see Government charges for dumping waste double between 2007-08 and 2010-11.

The Governments range of policies on waste have been successful, with quantities of waste going to landfill reducing by 26% between 1997-98 and 2006-07 while the economy grew by 28%.

Previous story, Landfill tax escalator threatens future diversions, says LGA (02/07/08)

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