Treasury launches call for evidence on Landfill Tax

HM Treasury yesterday (30 November) announced that it is calling for evidence on the Landfill Tax. The call will focus on the key design features of the tax, including the rate applied to different materials and the circumstances in which exemptions and discounts can be claimed. This, the Government says, will help it understand the views of stakeholders in this area before considering how the tax can ‘continue to support positive environmental outcomes, in particular in relation to waste management’.

A landfill siteAnnounced in Spring 2021, the review welcomes input from stakeholders, including the waste management industry, environmental groups, and the devolved administrations, all of which, the Treasury says, have been considered when developing the review document.

As part of the review, the Government is considering the structure of the tax and the impacts of any proposed changes to this on businesses, local authorities and individuals, and on waste crime. It will also consider, the Treasury asserts, the interactions between the Landfill Tax in England and Northern Ireland, the Scottish Landfill Tax, and the Landfill Disposals Tax in Wales.

The Landfill Tax was introduced on 1 October 1996, aiming to encourage the diversion of waste away from a landfill and towards waste management options such as recycling, reuse, and recovery. Since 2000, local authority waste sent to landfill in England has fallen by 90 per cent.

The weight-based tax is due on material disposed of at landfill sites in England and Northern Ireland, and those that should have a permit but do not. There are two rates of tax – a standard rate, currently £97 per tonnes, and a lower rate, currently £3.10 per tonne, for the least polluting material.

The tax has remained largely unchanged in structure since its introduction, despite evolving environmental policy across successive governments. The current review, the Government asserts, intends to bring the policy in line with current environmental objectives, such as its target of zero avoidable waste by 2050.

The deadline for responses is 22 February 2022, after which the Government will review the evidence and set out its intentions.