Delivering his tenth pre-budget report, Chancellor Gordon Brown spoke of the great global challenges ahead and that the UK economy had no choice but to out-innovate and out-perform competitors in factors such the quality of infrastructure and environment.
He also spoke of the new era of shared responsibility and partnership between private and public sectors in the investments that Britain must make as it moves into the future.
With climate change now high on the Government agenda, Brown said it was an opportunity to create thousands of jobs in Britain. He confirmed a new institute to investigate new environmental technologies would be set up with a start budget of £550 million. A second enterprise capital fund would focus on innovative green technologies.
He confirmed that the Government would now consult on proposals put forward by economist Kate Barker to overhaul the planning system and provide more speed and certainty for major projects such as waste facilities.
Within the section on waste management in the report, the Government said it would consider whether there was a case for further incentives to encourage investment in more sustainable alternatives to landfill as part of its 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review.
And it confirmed that from April 1 2007 the standard rate of landfill tax would increase by £3 to £24 per tonne, adding that Government would also consider whether the standard rate of landfill tax needed to increase more steeply from 2008 onwards, or go beyond the £35 per tonne already committed to for the medium to long-term to encourage greater diversion of waste from landfill and more sustainable waste management options.
On support for new waste management facilities, the Government said it had continued to examine the potential of introducing an Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme to support new waste management facilities and encourage investment in developing markets for the outputs of these facilities.
And after stating that the aggregates levy seemed to be achieving its environmental objectives, the Government confirmed that the aggregates levy sustainability fund would be extended a further year to 2007/08.