Association presses government to hold levy at current rate and extend scope to imports of aggregates products
AHEAD of the Spring Budget on 8 March, the Mineral Products Association (MPA) has pressed the Government to continue to freeze the aggregates levy at its current rate of rate of £2.00 per tonne.
Given the likely flattening of construction output and the need to stimulate growth, the MPA has stressed that the Government should continue to freeze the existing aggregates levy, as now would the wrong time to increase the costs of the construction supply chain.
The Association believes that the Government should also extend the scope of the levy to include the aggregates content of imported materials such as concrete products, which currently have an unacceptable competitive advantage over UK producers who are subject to full aggregates levy costs.
This, says the MPA, puts an unreasonable burden on UK businesses throughout the UK and particularly in Northern Ireland.
The Association points out that between 2001 – the year preceding the introduction of the aggregates levy – and 2015, the identified imports of concrete products increased from £29.7 million to £207.3 million and the trade balance for these materials declined from a surplus of £55.4 million to a deficit of £152.9 million.
Furthermore, the MPA believes the Government should introduce a new Aggregates Levy Community and Biodiversity Fund in England using a small proportion of aggregates levy revenue (total revenue >£350 million per annum) to support local community initiatives in quarrying areas.