Councils and recyclers have called on the Chancellor to restrict rises in landfill tax from 2014.
The standard rate of landfill tax is currently scheduled to rise to £80 per tonne on 14 April 2014, having 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 understands landfill tax will be included in his Autumn Statement.
The Environmental Services Association (ESA) said it was ‘crucial’ to have certainty over future landfill tax rates. A statement read: “The escalator has done an excellent job in signalling to the industry future rates, which have allowed investments in alternative infrastructure to be planned in advance.
“But this will run out next year and we need greater certainty going forward. ESA would support a real terms freeze in landfill tax as its current rates are already at sufficient levels to make alternative treatments competitive.”
Paul Levett, chairman of Closed Loop Recycling’s advisory board, said: “We are advocates of annual increases in landfill tax, at least in line with RPI, as well as long term visibility of these tax rates in order that recyclers can continue to invest with greater certainty.”
The Local Government Association (LGA) called for a freeze on the tax. It said local taxpayers “should not be punished with an increase in landfill tax” and should instead see the money re-invested in boosting recycling.
In a letter to Osborne, Mike Jones, chairman of LGA’s Environment and Housing Board, asked the Chancellor return the tax receipts to local areas.
He said: “Instead of any re-investment, current arrangements mean central government is collecting and keeping money at local taxpayers’ expense. An increase in the landfill tax would only add costs to already hard-pressed householders.”