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Skip lorries protest over HMRC’s changes to landfill tax
Skip lorries blocked traffic as they lined up around Parliament Square yesterday [24 May] to protest against Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’s (HMRC) changes to landfill tax rules. On the side of one lorry, a white banner was attached with the words ‘stop tax on recycling’ printed in red capital letters.
HMRC’s changes were announced last Friday [18 May], and cover two separate areas of waste. Fines from trommels and screens, which used to be charged the lower landfill tax rate of £2.50 per tonne for inert material, will now be charged the full rate of £64 a tonne for active material, and material used to cover waste in landfill cells before they are capped will also be taxed at the full rate.
Charlie Trousdell, Planning, Estates & Licensing Manager at Kent recycling company Countrystyle Group, told Resource: “I think we need to get clarity on whether or not the government is saying that anything going to landfill will now be subject to full rate tax. It’s all quite confusing, which is why everyone is up in arms about it. Potentially the worst outcome of this is that people who want to have a skip to clear out their garden will be charged five or six hundred quid because of the enormous cost of it going to landfill, so you’ll probably see a massive rise in fly tipping and worse environmental performance."
He added: “Clearly we all want to do the right thing and divert materials from landfill. I think it’s right to make sure that no mitogenic material ends up in landfill. However, what appears to be happening is that HMRC are saying that, if you’ve gone through a recycling process and you’ve tried to take out as much stuff you can do something really useful with, and you’re left with a purely inert material, you’re still going to be charged the full rate for that material. That seems slightly wrong.”
The landfill tax legislation can be read in full at the HMRC website.
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