Scheme established to divert Welsh landfill tax to environmental projects
The Welsh Government’s proposed new landfill disposals tax will be used to support waste minimisation, biodiversity and other environmental projects, the Welsh Finance Secretary has confirmed.
The bill detailing the plans for the new devolved tax, which is designed to make the rules easier to understand as well as to deter illegal waste activity with an additional rate for unauthorised disposals, is expected to receive royal assent next summer after being laid out before the Welsh National Assembly last month (28 November).
The Office for Budgetary Responsibility forecasts the new tax will generate £27 million in 2018/19 after it comes into effect in April 2018.
As part of the establishment of the new tax, the new Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme will replace the UK Landfill Communities Fund and provide grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 for environmental projects, as well as one large grant of more than £50,000.
The Welsh Government expects applications for the scheme to come in from communities living within five miles of one of Wales’s 25 active landfill sites or within five miles of a waste transfer station sending at least 2,000 tonnes of waste to landfill each year.
All landfill site operators will contribute to community improvements through their tax contribution, and a decision about the amount of revenue allocated to the scheme will be made closer to April 2018.
A single distributive body will run the scheme, and the Welsh Government will provide the overall governance of the scheme. A procurement process to appoint the distributive body is expected to begin in spring 2017.
Developed with stakeholders
Commenting on the establishment of the funding scheme, Finance Secretary Professor Mark Drakeford said: “We have spoken with stakeholders over the past two years as we have developed the Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Bill. One of the areas most often raised was the future of the Landfill Communities Fund when the tax is devolved to Wales and how a replacement scheme would operate.
“This has resulted in the development of a new Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme, which will ensure communities in Wales affected by the disposal of waste to landfill will benefit from projects to support biodiversity, minimise waste and create other environmental enhancements.
“The changes we are introducing will minimise the administrative costs involved. More importantly, the new grant scheme will maximise the amount of funding reaching community projects and help improve our environment.”
More information about the Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme can be found on the Welsh Government’s website.