George Osborne announced his spring Budget in Parliament yesterday (16 March), with the headline measures for the waste and resources industry being that HMRC intends to increase activity to tackle tax evasion and non-compliance across the waste supply chain, and the standard and lower rates of landfill tax are set to increase in line with RPI from April 2017 and April 2018.
Landfill operators will also be required to contribute more to the Landfill Communities Fund from April 2016, and the packaging recycling target for plastics is set to reduce to 49% for 2016, increasing 2% each year to 2020. The glass packaging recycling target will remain at 77%, increasing 1% each year to 80%.
Chris Murphy, CIWM – “In terms of providing a coherent framework to support green economic growth, however, the Chancellor has once again turned our sector away empty handed”
Responding to the news, CIWM deputy chief executive Chris Murphy said: “Although there is little of any substance in the Budget 2016 to gladden hearts in the UK waste and resource sector, the additional funding over the next five years for HMRC to tackle tax evasion and non-compliance across the waste supply chain is welcome, and confirmation of the Landfill Tax rate regime through to March 2019 provides some medium term certainty.
“The expected changes to plastic and glass packaging targets appear pragmatic and likely to ensure that the UK performance is more closely aligned with the new EU Circular Economy.
“In terms of providing a coherent framework to support green economic growth, however, the Chancellor has once again turned our sector away empty handed.”
Landfill Communities Fund
The Environmental Services Association (ESA) expressed its pleasure at the Chancellor of the Exchequers’ announcement that it has chosen to retain third party contribution options under the Landfill Communities Fund.
ESA’s Executive Director, Jacob Hayler said: “ESA is pleased that HM Treasury has listened to the industry and chosen to retain the option of using contributing third parties under the Landfill Communities Fund scheme.
ESA’s Executive Director, Jacob Hayler – “ESA is pleased that HM Treasury has listened to the industry and chosen to retain the option of using contributing third parties under the Landfill Communities Fund scheme”
“Removal of this option would have stung landfill operators with a sudden and unforeseen £4m burden, which would have left them with no option but to cease contributing to the fund.
“This would have been a crying shame for local community and biodiversity projects which rely on this source of funding in an otherwise challenging climate for fund raising, and also for the environmental bodies administering the scheme which would have been forced to wind down and lay off jobs.
“Today’s announcement that Entrust will instead publish guidance for landfill operators to increase their contributions to the fund is a preferable and more flexible alternative which means that communities will continue to benefit from this invaluable scheme going forward.”