With 2014’s Budget set to be announced tomorrow (19 March), the waste and resources industry has revealed what it hopes Chancellor George Osborne will say with regards to “moving the industry forward”.
The ESA want to see clear direction from the government on the future of Landfill Tax. It also calls for additional resources to help support the Environment Agency in its fight against waste crime.
Jacob Hayler, ESA’s Economist, said: “The Budget comes this year following a challenging few years for the UK’s waste and resource management sector.
“In its 2013’s Circular Economy report, ESA estimated that the introduction of measures to unlock a circular economy could stimulate £10bn in investment in the UK’s waste and resources infrastructure. But this will only be realised if the industry is given the certainty it needs to make those investments.
- The landfill tax escalator has done an excellent job in signalling future rates to the industry, and allowing investments in alternative infrastructure to be planned in advance. However, this is coming to an end and we now need clear direction from the government on the future for landfill tax. This is crucial.
- Recent reports have highlighted the blight caused by waste crime, which costs the UK up to £800m each year. This undermines investments made by the legitimate industry, and the Chancellor should use his Budget to signal additional resources for the Environment Agency, and relevant Government departments, to combat illegality in the waste and resources sector.
“Finally, the waste industry is well placed to invest in new facilities, creating green jobs and boosting local economies. Provisions in the Budget to help underpin new infrastructure investment, such as new tax allowances, would be a great help. Now that the economy is starting to turn for the better, tax breaks for businesses would help stimulate the private sector even further.”
Jacob Hayler, ESA’s Economist – “The Budget comes this year following a challenging few years for the UK’s waste and resource management sector”
Chris Dow, CEO of plastic bottle recycler Closed Loop Recycling has called for an increase to Landfill Tax along with a long-term strategy for the Tax that will create stability in the industry.
He said: “From a recycling industry perspective, we would like to see the Chancellor announce an increase in Landfill Tax and indeed a commitment to a longer term strategy on Landfill Tax levels, in order to create some stability in the industry and confidence among investors.
“We certainly believe that landfill tax should increase at least in line with inflation and the formula should be fixed until, say, 2020 in order to provide confidence and certainty to potential investors in recycling and reprocessing infrastructure.
“Additionally, we are reiterating our call for PRN reform which creates a more level playing field for UK recyclers. The current system encourages exports of precious waste resource rather than supporting the domestic market.
Chris Dow, Closed Loop Recycling – “We are also supportive of any announcement by the Chancellor to review business rates to make businesses more competitive”
“We are also supportive of any announcement by the Chancellor to review business rates to make businesses more competitive. However, funding remains an issue for many small to medium sized businesses and we are calling on the Government to continue to push the banks to lend more.
“As a business we have big expansion plans – indeed we’ve just completed a £12m investment in new recycling infrastructure at our plastic bottle recycling facility. But as many businesses like ours are finding, bank funding is not as readily available as is needed to drive the UK economy forward.”
Friends of the Earth has says the Chancellor should finally announce that the Green Investment Bank (GIB) is free to borrow, as called for last week by a committee of MPs.
It says that a thriving GIB is vital to fill the urgent low-carbon funding gap.
Commenting ahead of the Budget, Friends of the Earth’s Economics Campaigner, David Powell, said: “This Budget could unlock billions of pounds for clean infrastructure and innovation, but only if Mr Osborne makes it clear to investors that the UK’s long-term climate change goals are a safe bet.”