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Osborne expected to outline plans for landfill tax

An industry insider has said ministers are expecting Chancellor George Osborne to include landfill tax in his Autumn Statement.

The statement, to take place on 5 December, updates Government plans for the economy based on forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility.

The standard rate of landfill tax is currently scheduled to rise to £80 per tonne on 14 April 2014. The rate has increased by £8 a year over the past five years.

There is no indication as yet whether Osborne intends to extend this arrangement, but MRW has been told a government minister has said landfill tax would be included in his announcements.

Lobbying ahead of the Chancellor’s statement has increased over the past few weeks. An alliance of manufacturer organisations co-ordinated by British Plastics Federation recently asked Osborne to raise landfill tax to £200 per tonne.

This prompted criticism from some recyclers who feared higher landfill tax would lead to a fall in the quality of recycled materials.

A number of resources industry experts have called for landfill tax increases above or in line with inflation. Last month David Palmer-Jones, chief executive of Sita UK and chairman of the Environmental Services Association (ESA), said the industry needed to know what would happen to rates after April 2014.

Speaking to MRW, Estelle Brachlianoff, Veolia executive vice-president for UK and Northern Europe, said the tax had successfully decreased waste sent to landfill but that it should no longer be increased year-on-year, aside for adjusting for inflation.

She said: “We shouldn’t get a lot further because it would become counterproductive, possibly leading to increase in [illegal] waste export or in the number of non-compliant sites.”

The United Resource Operators Confederation, ESA and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management recently met with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and the Treasury over the lower rate of landfill tax.

The industry bodies are concerned that current guidance is not clear enough on what materials would be acceptable for trommel fines.

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