MPA sets out proposals for new ALCF
Association draws up plans for a new Aggregates Levy Community Fund in England
THE Mineral Products Association (MPA) has set out proposals for a new Aggregates Levy Community Fund (ALCF) to be introduced in England in April 2020.
Proposals for the ALCF will build on the legacy of the previous Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF), but at a lower cost.
The MPA proposal would see 8p per tonne – or 4% – of Aggregates Levy revenue being allocated to the new ALCF to fund local community projects and biodiversity and nature conservation projects.
It would mean that an aggregates quarry selling 200,000 tonnes of aggregates per year would generate aggregates levy credits of £11,200 annually for community use, equivalent to £112,000/£168,000 for a 10/15-year operating life.
Designed to support delivery of the Government’s ‘localism’ agenda and the recently announced 25-year plan for the environment, proposals set out include the introduction of ‘Local Aggregate Community Trusts’ (LACTs) including operators, the local community and councils to help improve stakeholder engagement and steer the funding for use in the local community.
A £3 million fund identified for biodiversity and nature conservation, involving engagement from other expert environmental organizations, and including marine projects, would also be sought (see pdf attachment below for further details).
The MPA says there is a very clear precedent in the Landfill Tax Communities Fund, through which landfill operators claimed tax credits of £35 million in 2016/17 compared with Landfill Tax receipts of £903 million.
The Autumn Budget set out a Landfill Tax Communities Fund of £33.9 million in 2018/19 with a tax credit cap of 5.3% of Landfill Tax liability for operators.
Established in 2002, and set at a rate of £2.00 per tonne since 2009, the Aggregates Levy was introduced by the Government to generate revenue from the sales of primary aggregate for use in construction and better reflect the environmental costs of winning primary construction aggregates, and to encourage the use of alternative, secondary and recycled construction materials.
Aggregates Levy receipts have typically raised between £300 million to £350 million per annum for HM Treasury (£407 million in 2016/17), totalling £5 billion since inception.
Commenting on the latest proposals, MPA chief executive Nigel Jackson said: ‘Between 2002 and 2011, hundreds of projects benefited from the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund. The MPA holds that the decision to end the ALSF was wrong in principle given the controversies surrounding the introduction of the Aggregates Levy in the first place, but despite best efforts, attempts to convince Defra Ministers of the need for its reintroduction have been fruitless.
‘Undeterred, the MPA has considered how the scheme could be improved, and drawn up proposals for a new funding model. Building on the substantial legacy of the ALSF, but at lower cost with a narrower and more relevant focus, I believe that the new proposals will support delivery of the Government’s ‘localism’ agenda and the new 25-year plan for the environment.
‘More broadly, the new Aggregates Levy Community Fund will focus on local community engagement, biodiversity and nature conservation, and could be widened out to include carbon reduction, heritage and security of supply issues at a later date.
‘I hope that MPs, councillors and planners in aggregate producing areas, and local community and environmental organizations, will get behind our proposals and encourage government to support it.’