MPA calls on government to look again at Aggregates Levy
Mineral Products Association seeks reduction in Aggregates Levy and new local community fund
THE Mineral Products Association (MPA) has called on government to reduce the level of, and re-assess, the environmental rationale of the Aggregates Levy, following the Government announcement that a key element of the Levy – the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund –will be scrapped from April 2011.
Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the MPA, said: ‘There are clearly major questions about the environmental performance and relevance of the levy and the additional costs it is imposing on construction clients and the supply chain at a time when government needs to focus on policies encouraging economic growth and not on imposing additional costs.
‘The ALSF was designed as an integral element of the levy in recognition that the levy itself is a blunt instrument and more targeted spending and interventions were necessary to generate environmental and community benefits.
‘The fact that government has now decided to scrap the ALSF further diminishes the levy’s environmental credentials and turns it into a straightforward revenue-raising measure and not an environmental tax.’
Mr Jackson said there was now a golden opportunity to support communities in quarrying areas by creating a new fund which recycles part of the levy directly into new ‘local community trusts’ while also retaining funding to support key projects relating to biodiversity, climate change, the marine environment and the strategic mineral planning system.
‘Government is now reviewing its approach to environmental taxation and the MPA has been pleased to contribute to this process,’ he said. ‘Now is the right time to reconsider future policy in relation to the Aggregates Levy and the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund in the broader context of our industry’s sustainability performance, and we hope the Treasury will react positively to this proposal.’