Charges for domestic waste will not lead to an increase in fly-tipping if a local council has a good fly-tipping strategy in place, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The comment from Defra comes in response to claims from the Conservative Party in the Times newspaper, who argued that bin taxes will lead to a surge in illegal dumping of household rubbish. In May, Defra issued a consultation paper on an incentive scheme under which householders would be given a rebate if they put out less rubbish than a set target, but charged more if they put out extra. The Eunomia study, published in December, looked at practices across Europe to see whether introduction of incentive schemes had increased fly-tipping. A Defra spokeswoman said the Eunomia study showed that where financial incentives had been used in other countries there had been both increases and decreases in fly-tipping. There is no need for fly-tipping to increase if early steps are taken to tackle the problem and we have made clear we expect any authority considering a financial incentive scheme to have a fly-tipping strategy in place first, the spokeswoman said. We asked Eunomia to model costs and benefits with an assumption of an increase in fly-tipping in order that our analysis took account of as many costs as possible. This does not mean we anticipate that an increase in fly-tipping would take place. In reality the impacts would depend on a number of local factors including the type of scheme, how good the recycling service was, and what action the authority took to prevent fly-tipping.