The standard and lower rates of landfill tax are to rise in line with inflation from April 2015, HM Treasury has announced today (March 19).
However, longer term clarity over whether the rate will rise further beyond that date has not been offered, with the government waiting for results of a forthcoming consultation on trommel fines.
Landfill tax for active waste is set to rise from £72 to £80 per tonne in April this year, with the Department confirming that any future rise will be related to the Retail Price Index, rounded to the nearest 5 pence from April 1 2015.
Clarity has been offered over the application of the lower rate of landfill tax for fines material. The Treasury has revealed that a ‘loss on ignition’ testing regime will be applied from April 2015 to determine whether material can be charged at the lower rate, which currently stands at £2.50 per tonne.
LOI testing involves igniting a sample of material to determine how much moisture is lost. The practice would provide an alternative to visual tests, which some claim are open to exploitation by landfill operators.
The announcement follows lengthy discussions between tax officials from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) with members of the waste management industry – represented by the Environmental Services Association (ESA), and the United Resource Operators Consortium (UROC), on behalf of skip-hire firms.
Under the new testing regime, only fines below a 10% threshold would be considered eligible for the lower rate of landfill tax.
Full proposals are to be set out in a consultation document, which is expected ‘later in 2014’, with the government stating that it intends to provide longer term certainty about the future level of landfill tax rates once the consultation process on testing regime has concluded.
Meanwhile, the Treasury has also revealed that the value of the landfill communities fund for 2014-15 will be reduced to £71 million. As a result, the cap on contributions by landfill operators will be amended to 5.1%.
According to the Department, this reduction takes account of progress that environmental bodies have made to address the government’s challenge to reduce unspent funds. The saving is to be used to fund an equivalent one-off increase to address waste crime.
However, an announcement on business glass packaging targets, which had been expected to come alongside today’s budget statement, has been deferred until tomorrow (March 20).
Packaging compliance schemes are keen to see a reduction in the targets to more accurately reflect the marketplace, after a report published by ACP in October last year suggested the amount of glass on the market had been overstated by around 350,000 tonnes.
Elsewhere, the Chancellor George Osborne announced that the existing compensation schemes for ‘energy intensive industries’ will be extended for a further four years – a move that is likely to be welcomed by paper mill operators – who use a large amount of the recovered paper collected in the UK.
Mr Osborne said: “Our steel makers, chemical plants, paper mills and other heavy energy users make up 35% of our manufacturing exports and employ half a million people. This scheme helps the companies most at risk of leaving to remain in the UK.”
As published on www.letsrecycle.com, 19th March 2014