News In Focus
Landfill tax proposals out for views
25 October 2012
The Scottish Government has today published its plans for a landfill tax, to be introduced in 2015 under the Scotland Act 2012.
Finance Secretary John Swinney launched his proposals for the replacement tax relating to the disposal of waste to landfill, including the proposed benefits for communities.
Ministers believe that the UK landfill tax is well understood and operates well within its intended scope, and do not intend significant changes to the form or structure of the existing tax regime. "This will ensure that the stable market conditions needed to support long-term investment are maintained", the paper says.
However, they wish to pursue "refinements or enhancements that will support its continued smooth operation in Scotland", and want to receive views on longer-term changes that the Government may wish to consider beyond the introduction of the tax in 2015.
One proposal is to establish a replacement for the landfill tax communities fund, allowing landfill tax operators to contribute 10% more than under current arrangements. Others include looking at the administrative and regulatory model of the fund and the 10 mile radius rule, making sure that those most affected by landfill benefit most.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) would administer the tax on behalf of Revenue Scotland, which ministers believe will be cheaper than administration by HM Revenue & Customs.
Rates of tax will not be set until nearer the time at which it will take effect. However the intention is to impose it at at least the rates then current in the rest of the UK.
Mr Swinney said: “The Scottish Government wants to take this opportunity to ensure that landfill tax, environmental protection legislation, regulation and compliance regimes are all aligned and working in the best interests of our environment and our economy.
“One opportunity now open to Scotland would be to increase the amount that is invested in the communities fund to improve surroundings and mitigate against the impact landfill has on communities."
Click here to view the consultation. The closing date for submissions is 15 January 2013.