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Landfill Tax Credit Scheme

Volume 403: debated on Monday 7 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many of the stakeholders she consulted over changes to the landfill tax credit scheme recommended (a) no changes, (b) minimal changes, (c) major changes and (d) abandonment of the scheme; [106463](2) if she will make it her policy to ensure that stakeholder opinions are taken into account when deciding upon the successor to the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme. [106470]

The joint Treasury/Defra consultation on the future of the Landfill Tax Credit scheme went to 3,468 individuals or organisations and generated 683 responses. Of these 550 (82 per cent.) opted for keeping the Scheme as it is or with minor modifications, 59 (9 per cent.) opted for a major change and 58 (9 per cent.) did not comment. A clear majority (65 per cent.) were in favour of increased funding for sustainable waste management projects.A consistent message also arising from the consultation was the need for a more strategic approach to funding sustainable waste management objectives. The Government fully endorse this view and will set out how they aim to achieve this in their response to the Strategy Unit Report 'Waste Not, Want Not' which will be published shortly. The Government will take into account the opinions of stakeholders in deciding on the new public expenditure programme.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much money she estimates will be lost from the sustainable waste sector as a result of funding formerly distributed through categories C and CC of the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme being distributed by a public body and losing the capacity to be used to draw further funds from private sources; [106465](2) what figure she uses to estimate the leverage or gearing ratio between landfill tax credit scheme funding and further funding secured from other sources against it. [1064641

The evidence available suggests that the vast majority of levered in funds have been directed at projects in category A—land reclamation, category D—public parks and amenities and category E—building restoration. A survey carried out by Glasgow Caledonian University involving 1,053 Environmental Bodies (with a 40 per cent. response rate) indicates that over the period 1997–2002, waste management projects (categories C and CC) levered in 34 per cent. of LTCS expenditure from other sources.The Government believes that a public expenditure programme can work well with private sources (e.g. retailers or equipment manufacturers) to achieve a similar or better increase in total resources. Moreover local authorities can benefit from a public expenditure programme. Government will also be better able to direct how and where funds are spent through the public expenditure programme to ensure they are focused on areas which will contribute towards achieving our overall aims on sustainable waste management identified in the Strategy Unit Report "Waste Not, Want Not".

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action she will take to guarantee transparency in a successor to the landfill tax credit scheme. [106467]

Details of the nature of the new public expenditure programme which will replace some parts of the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme will be made alongside the government's official response to the Strategy Unit report, which is planned for around the time of the budget.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consultations she has held to ascertain the (a) nature and (b) scale of (i) the transitional rump fund and (ii) the successor scheme to replace the landfill tax credit scheme. [106468]

Because the transitional rump fund is a short-term measure and had to be put into place very quickly there was no formal consultation. However, discussions with interested parties did take place and their views have been taken into consideration. As indicated in the Chancellor's Pre-Budget Report, the proposals in the Strategy Unit report "Waste Not, Want Not" have formed the basis of the consultation for the public expenditure scheme. A large number of stakeholders were involved in the production of that report and, since its publication, we have received a number of written comments.