Dagenham politicians concerned about landfill tax ‘changes’

A 2,460 per cent tax hike for skips unloading material on to landfill sites is threatening jobs in the skip disposal and construction business, the industry has warned.

Campaigners, including Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas, said the move could lead to a rise in unemployment as skip companies and disposal sites will struggle to pay �64 tax for each tonne of material disposed on to landfills, compared to the current �2.50 a tonne.

The government, which made the surprise announcement on May 18, has drawn criticism from the industry, who are now asking for the increased tax rate to be suspended for six months until a working group can be established and a formal consultation can be held.

Mr Cruddas said: “If this policy continues without any formal consultation and amendments then it will without doubt cost jobs not only in the skip company but in the wider construction industry.

“At a time when the construction industry is already on its knees this is one more blow that it will not be able to cope with. The government must see sense and halt this policy while they discuss with the affected parties in much greater detail”.

The tax could also affect the running costs of Barking and Dagenham Council’s pioneering Eyesore Gardens scheme, and lead to a rise in fly-tipping.

Barking and Dagenham Council leader Liam Smith said “Over the last few years the council has run a very effective campaign against eyesore gardens and my worry is that when the skip industry is hit we will begin to see fly-tipping and eyesore gardens start to rise”.

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The HM Revenue and Customs has in response published a clarification of the landfill tax brief, stating that “the current rules relating to the different types of waste have not changed”.

However, where materials fall in to a certain category of contaminated materials, “were and remain liable at the standard rate of landfill tax”.

A spokesman said: “Where you are in any doubt about the correct Landfill Tax treatment, please phone the Excise and Customs Helpline on 0845 010 900.”