Waste to energy tax consultation on the cards, if Lib Dems elected

The Liberal Democrats have said they would consult on the introduction of an incineration tax and would reinstate the Landfill Tax escalator, if they were voted into power next month in the UK General Election...

 

The Liberal Democrats have said they would consult on the introduction of an “incineration tax” and would reinstate the Landfill Tax escalator, if they were voted into power next month in the UK General Election.

In its Manifesto 2015 released this week, the Liberal Democrats said they would be “consulting on the introduction of an Incineration Tax”, as well as “reinstating the Landfill Tax escalator and extending it to the lower rate”. This was discontinued by Chancellor George Osborne in 2014.

The party included its “Green Britain Guarantee: Five Green Laws”, which included increased penalties for waste crimes.

Under the Liberal Democrats, an average fine of £50,000 would be increased to £75,000 and include an average sentence increasing from 12 to 18 months.

A well as confirming a commitment to a statutory 70% recycling target, the Liberal Democrats said a Zero Waste Britain Act would need to include: “Regulation to promote design that enhances repairability, reuse and recycling, requiring specified products to be sold with parts and labour guarantees for at least five years.”

Ray Georgeson, chief executive of the Resource Association, told WMW: “We would support the reintroduction of the Landfill Tax escalator, but this needs to be done alongside a review of waste/resource taxation and use of incentives.”

Georgeson said the association would support “a study to establish the case for an Incineration Tax and revision of the Landfill Communities Fund to include a tax credits scheme based on revenues from an Incineration Tax for use in a revised Category C for prevention, repair, reuse and circular economy projects and recycling market development. Therefore we welcome the proposals in the Liberal Democrat manifesto which are well thought through.”

Also included in the Lib Dem’s manifesto was a nod towards organic waste treatment and collections.

The party said it would encourage the growth of anaerobic digestion to produce biogas for heat and transport, as well as working with local authorities to extend separate food waste collections to at least 90% of homes by 2020.

The latter mirrors one of six key elements highlighted by the Resource Association in its policy proposals for the General Election, launched at the end of March.

The association said there should be an introduction of a ban on biodegradable waste to landfill with a duty to provide food waste collections accessible to every household by 2020.

In comparison, the waste management industry was largely neglected in the manifesto of Britain’s centre-right, Conservative Party.

Although a promise was made to build 1,400 new flood defence schemes to “protect 300,000 homes” and a £500 million investment promise to make all cars and vans zero mission vehicles by 2050, there were no so such promises for solid waste handling industry.

The Labour Party, meanwhile, referenced reforms it intends to make in the Uk’s water sector including mandating all water companies being required to signed to up to a new national affordability scheme, yet waste remained absent from its manifesto.

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Image credit: Liberal Democrats