Clause 184 — Rate of Landfill Tax

Part of Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 14th May 2003.

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Photo of George Osborne George Osborne Opposition Whip (Commons) 5:45 pm, 14th May 2003

I accept that a proportion of the money will remain, but it is quite small; indeed, it will be less than half. According to the letter that I received from the Economic Secretary, approximately £47 million will remain in the scheme annually, but £100 million will be taken out. Only a third of the money will remain. Given the environmental credentials of Dr. Whitehead, I wonder whether he supports the change. Does he think that the Government would be better at spending the money centrally than local charities and environmental groups on the ground? I would be surprised if he took that view, as it is certainly not my view or that of the groups involved.

I ask the Economic Secretary to reflect on what I have said and deal with my points, some of which he will no doubt have heard about from environmental groups. In particular, will he address the loss of match funding and the question of where the groups will get their money? I know that he is phasing in some of the changes, but in a year or two those involved will be hit with a big shortfall. Will he also comment on the serious job losses that at least one organisation that has written to me predicts?