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UK waste effort left stranded by Government

Gordon Brown's Budget has been slammed by politicians and councils for leaving the country's waste effort floundering.

The Chancellor froze the Aggregates Levy and stuck with a predetermined £3-per-tonne rise in Landfill Tax for this year in his annual speech last week. He made no other significant announcements on waste.

Liberal Democrat environment spokesman Sue Doughty MP said: "Nothing in this Budget will move us any closer to the sustainable management of waste in Britain.

"The Landfill Tax is in desperate need of reform, as the Chancellor has been told many times by both the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Environmental Audit Select Committees as well as many in the waste sector.

"The Lib Dems believe it must also be moved sooner to a level at which it provides a genuine market incentive for waste companies to invest in recycling and composting facilities."

Doughty added that the party would like to see the Landfill Tax expanded to cover incineration, removing the incentive to burn waste.

Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee chairman Lee Marshall added: "My initial reaction is that the Budget was very much concerned with reviewing where we are rather making any strong announcements on the way forward, or signalling any change in direction."

Marshall had also called for imaginative thinking from Brown in his Budget.

He told MRW he would like councils to be allowed to hold back a proportion of the Landfill Tax they paid on dumping household waste, for use in recycling work.

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