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Taxation: Quarrying

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what fiscal incentives are in place to discourage quarrying and promote the use of alternative raw materials to protect the environment. (134646)

The aggregates levy ensures that the external costs associated with exploitation of aggregate are reflected in the price of aggregate. The price increase reduces demand for and encourages efficient use of freshly quarried aggregate materials.

The levy is also structured to promote use of alternatives to virgin aggregates from more sustainable sources, such as recycled demolition waste and slate waste, by granting these materials exemption from the levy.

The levy is part of a package of environmental measures (including the landfill tax and climate change levy) designed to encourage more efficient processes, environmental awareness and sustainable development. Research shows the levy, as part of this package, is helping to meet the Government’s policy aims. For example, Great Britain has seen a reduction in sales of virgin aggregate by around 18 million tonnes between 2001 and 2005 and an increase in the use of recycled aggregate in England of around 5.5 million tonnes.