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Long-standing Aggregates Levy litigation concluded

Paul McManus

British Aggregates Association reaches settlement with the UK Government on all aspects of the Levy

THE Executive of the British Aggregates Association (BAA) has reached a settlement with the UK Government in respect of all aspects of the Aggregates Levy litigation in the UK and European Union, with its long-standing legal action being withdrawn in response to the offer of an official government review of the Levy. The following announcement was formally made today (8 February) by Robert Jenrick MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, in a written Ministerial statement:

'Long-standing litigation on the Aggregates Levy has now been concluded, with the litigation against the Government and the European Commission being withdrawn. The Government remains committed to devolving the Aggregates Levy to the Scottish Parliament following the conclusion of this litigation and is working with the Scottish Government to work out the next steps.

'The Aggregates Levy has been largely unchanged since its introduction in 2002. The Government will now conduct a comprehensive review of the levy over the next year, working closely with the Scottish Government, and consulting the Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive throughout. The review will be comprehensive, looking at the latest evidence about the objectives of the levy, its effectiveness in meeting those objectives, and the design of the levy, including the impact of devolution.

'The Terms of Reference for the review will be published in Spring 2019 and an expert working group will be established to inform it. The review will aim to conclude by the end of 2019.'

The BAA was formed in 1999 to protect the interests of the UK’s privately-owned SME aggregate producers and to oppose government intentions to introduce what was deemed to be a highly unpopular and unjustified stealth tax on an already highly regulated industry with internationally renowned environmental credentials.

Since the introduction of the levy in 2002, the BAA has challenged the Government, both in the UK and in the EU, through a series of legal claims that were ongoing until today’s agreement with HM Treasury.

BAA chairman Paul McManus (pictured) commented: ‘It is entirely due to the efforts of the BAA and its members acting on behalf of the overall aggregate industry in Great Britain and Northern Ireland that we have now reached this point.

‘We have finally persuaded HM Treasury of the need for a comprehensive root-and-branch revisit and review of the Levy, its design and its objectives; and we look forward to being a principal participant in the expert working group.’

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