HM Treasury has announced that the standard and lower rates of landfill tax are to increase in line with inflation from April 2015
It has not yet been established whether the rate will rise further beyond that date, as the government awaits results of an up and coming consultation on trommel fines.
Landfill tax for active waste is set to increase from £72 to £80 per tonne as of April this year, with the Department confirming that any future rise will be related to the Retail Price Index, as of April 1 2015.
Resource Association’s chief executive Ray Georgeson commented:
“We are relieved to see a clear statement that Landfill Tax will in the short-term increase in line with RPI and not be eroded in real terms. We still believe there is scope for significant future increases in Landfill Tax to further drive on towards recycling targets and complete the switch in emphasis in the UK on how we dispose of resources…”
In order to determine whether material can be charged at the lower rate, which currently stands at £2.50 per tonne, the Treasury has revealed that a ‘loss on ignition’ testing regime will also be applied.
The practice of LOI testing comprises igniting a sample of material to determine how much moisture is lost and provides an alternative to visual tests, which some claim are at risk of exploitation by landfill operators.
Under the new testing regime, only fines below a 10% threshold will be eligible for the lower landfill tax rate.
Government intends to provide certainty about the future level of landfill tax rates once the consultation process on testing regime has concluded. Full proposals are to be set out in a consultation document later in 2014.
In addition 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 adjusted to 5.1%.
Chancellor George Osborne announced that the current compensation schemes for ‘energy intensive industries’ will be extended for another four years. This is likely to be welcomed by paper mill operators who use a substantial amount of 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.”