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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.

Exclusive MRW strap

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.  

Readers' comments (4)

  • This is wrong the skip operators should pay the same LFT as evryone else. It will not put them out of business as they will all have to pay the same gate fees.

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  • What!!???.....another person with no knowledge of what it is they're talking about and making ridiculous comments......don't none of you people get it yet!!!......I take it everyone can afford £ 300 - £1000 for a skip then!....if no one can afford it then no - one will use skips or waste removal services (from licensed & legal firms not the man & the van people like you see on rogue traders) & the whole industry will's a comparison for you people that just don't get it....if a pint of milk or a loaf of bread cost £50 or more across the UK does that mean its a level playing field then & we all will pay it?...of course not!!!....for the waste & subsequent construction industry this is what it means to us, its disastrous.

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  • If you separate material from waste and then put it in a landfill, how can that be recycling?
    If recovered material is actually recycled then you don't pay landfill tax.
    we all know that the industry has been on a feeding frenzy of producing inert fines (which have a signifcant amount of active waste in it) and engineering material from general waste to avoid tax. What part of this is recycling?
    How can we claim to have signifcantly reduced landfilling of active waste yet significantly increased the amount of inert and engineering material to landfills. Why do we suddenly need more inert and more engineering materila when there is less waste going to landfill.
    This is a classic case of someone having been given an inch but taken the mile so HMRC has had no alternative. Firms that genuinely recycle don't send their recyclates to landfill and they will survive.

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  • To What!!??

    Landfill Tax is designed to ensure that waste producers recycle and if they don't they pay for it. In this country we do not need a culture of 'put it all in one skip' as this doesn't help anyone.

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