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Welsh landfill tax on illegal sites set at 150% standard rate

The Welsh Government has said it will set a tax on illegal landfill at £133.45 per tonne, which could be nearly double the level imposed on illegal landfill in England.

Wales has been given devolved taxation powers on landfill, and the first bills will be sent out next April.

Finance secretary Mark Drakeford announced that the standard and lower rates for 2018-19 would be kept at the level in England, at £88.85 and £2.80 per tonne respectively, to prevent ’waste tourism’ by operators crossing borders for a cheaper rate.

But Wales has pressed ahead with the introduction of a third band, at 150% the standard rate. England and Northern Ireland are also introducing a tax on illegal disposal and the indications are that this will be set at the standard rate.

An HMRC consultation on the new tax in England and NI revealed a “vast majority of respondents felt this was a reasonable course of action to take at illegal waste sites”.

Legislation on the England and NI landfill tax has been drafted and is being consulted on until 25 October.

The level of Welsh landfill tax rates and a new land transaction tax were announced as part of the Welsh Government’s two-year revenue plans. The Government is also looking at introducing a tax on disposable plastics.

Drakeford said: “These new progressive rates and bands for land transaction tax and landfill disposals tax will make a real difference to people’s lives, help to change behaviours and deliver improvements to communities across Wales. We are being bold but balanced, and leading the way in creating a fair and progressive tax system.”

There are 25 landfill sites in Wales run by 20 operators. It is estimated the devolved tax will generate £25m in 2018-19.

A Welsh landfill disposals tax communities scheme will also be set up to issue grants to offset the impact of landfill. This will replace the current communities scheme.

 2018-192019-20 (assumed rate)

Standard rate



Lower rate



Unauthorised disposals rate



Welsh landfill tax rates


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