The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) has written to HMRC regarding LFT1 - a general guide to Landfill Tax issued by HMRC on 18th May 2012, with specific reference to the immediate implementation of the Guidance and its impacts on sustainable waste and resource management in the short to medium term.
While CIWM welcomes the clarification in the new guidance and the ending of a significant period of uncertainty over which materials and uses attract different rates of landfill tax, it has expressed concern over the lack of notice or staged implementation timetable and suggests that insufficient attention has been paid to the impact on the industry and its public and private sector customers.
The letter points out that most, if not all, successful policy interventions related to waste, including the Landfill Tax escalator, have included long lead times to allow the industry and its clients to be able to plan and budget effectively and CIWM is concerned that the lack of notice in this case could result in significant economic and environmental harm.
It states that some companies which have invested in services and equipment to improve waste sorting and separation are concerned that the changes could place all of their treatment 'fines' into the standard tax bracket or leave them with no agreed procedures to demonstrate that their fines are genuinely inert. CIWM believes that this could have the perverse effect of disincentivising recycling and believes that however and wherever Landfill Tax is applied, it must drive waste up the 'hierarchy' and not down it by discouraging rigorous standards of separation.
CIWM is also concerned about the wider impact. In many cases, the increased costs will be passed back to waste-producing customers with little warning, and there could also be major implications for local authorities, who will potentially be impacted in two ways. Firstly through having to pay more for their waste treatment as the higher tax liability is passed back by the private contractors serving the municipal market and secondly through having to foot the bill should rising costs lead to increased fly-tipping.
The Institution has requested an early meeting with HMRC to discuss these issues further.
Notes to Editors:
1. The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) is the leading professional body for the waste management sector representing over 7000 individuals in the UK and overseas. Established in 1898, CIWM is a non profit-making organisation, dedicated to the promotion of professional competence amongst waste managers. CIWM seeks to raise standards for those working in and with the sector by producing best practice guidance, developing educational and training initiatives, and providing information on key waste-related issues.
2. More information can be found at www.ciwm.gov.uk
CIWM Press Office
Tel: 01604 620426
Mob: 07912 228260