Devolved Welsh landfill disposals tax to fund new communities scheme
The Welsh Government has announced today (20 June) that communities close to landfill sites or waste transfer stations will benefit from a new grant fund.
Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford revealed that the Welsh Government had introduced an amendment to the new devolved Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Bill that will ensure Welsh Ministers prepare and publish a communities scheme to improve social and environmental wellbeing in communities affected by landfill.
The new Landfill Disposals Tax will replace the UK landfill tax in Wales when it is devolved to the Welsh Government in April 2018. The community scheme will allocate funds to support biodiversity, waste minimisation and other environmental and social projects in these communities, such as restoring natural habitats, encouraging prevention, re-use, recovery and recycling of waste, and bringing neglected and run-down areas back into community use as green space, for example.
The Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme, part of stage three of the Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Bill, will be funded using part of the revenue from the new tax, with a final decision over the level of funding to be made in the autumn.
While the Welsh Government will administer the overall governance of the scheme, the procurement process tasked with finding a single distributive body to run the scheme has commenced, with the contract notice to be launched at the end of July and the contract itself to be awarded before the end of the year.
A ‘historic milestone’
The devolution of the landfill tax, which is predicted to generate £27 million in 2018/19 alone, is one of three bills proposing taxes that will be brought under the aegis of the Welsh Government, the other two being the introduction of a land transaction tax and the ability to vary income tax in Wales.
Speaking about the landfill disposals tax, Mark Drakeford said: “In a year’s time, Wales will introduce the first Welsh taxes in almost 800 years. This is an historic milestone in Wales’ devolution journey as we become responsible for raising our own money to spend on public services. I am fully committed to having a new communities scheme when landfill disposals tax is introduced in April. The benefits it provides communities located around landfill sites and waste transfer stations are clear and numerous.
“The new grant scheme will focus on three areas – biodiversity, environmental enhancements and waste minimisation. It will maximise the amount of funding reaching community projects most affected by the disposal of waste to landfill and help improve our environment.
“The details of the scheme will be published separately but work is already underway to prepare for its introduction. I will make an announcement about the amount allocated to the scheme in the autumn.”
“This bill is the third piece of legislation to establish tax arrangements in Wales. It has been extremely important to work with colleagues across the Assembly to build consensus so we have a strong piece of legislation to help pave the way to a smooth transition to tax powers.”
To find out more about the new Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme, visit the Welsh Government’s website.