Gov’s Focus On Innovation & Infrastructure Must Include Resources

parliamentIn an initial response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, CIWM’s chief executive, Dr Colin Church, says that the Government’s focus on productivity, innovation and infrastructure must take resources and sustainability into account.

Addressing the House of Commons, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond set out the Government’s economic forecast and long-term strategy.

CIWM has raised concerns that Hammond’s statement omitted any reference to climate change future-proofing UK industry or low carbon green growth.

colin-church
Dr Colin Church, CEO, CIWM

Dr Church said: “Mr Hammond’s attention has been rightly focused today on setting a stable course for the economy in light of the current state of the UK’s finances and Brexit uncertainty, and the targeted funding support for innovation and infrastructure is welcome.

“However, CIWM is concerned that the Chancellor’s speech made no reference to climate change proofing future UK industry and infrastructure, or to any imperative for low carbon, ‘green’ growth.

“It is also disappointing that there was no more detail on the new industrial strategy.

“Productivity is not just about how much we can ‘make’ but also about how we make it. Ultimately, sustainable growth is predicated on UK industry having access to a range of appropriate resources, and this includes the valuable secondary feedstock materials and energy products that the waste and resource management sector can deliver.

“It is to be hoped that somewhere in the emerging detail over the coming months, resource productivity will be clearly identified as one of the priorities, especially given the impact that volatile commodity markets and potential Brexit-related raw material price rises could have on UK plc.”

Hammond’s Autumn Statement, however, did restate that the Treasury will move forward with amendments to the definition of “taxable disposal” for Landfill Tax purposes.

Government says the amendment will “bring greater clarity and certainty for taxpayers on the Landfill Tax liability of activities carried out at a landfill site”.

Due to come into effect from 1 April 2017, the definition hopes to ensure that new activities at landfill sites “are not introduced to undermine the tax”, the Treasury says.

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