Clause 127 - Aggregates levy: amendments to provisions exempting spoil etc

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 25th June 2002.

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Photo of John Healey John Healey The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 11:00 am, 25th June 2002

Before the Committee perhaps divides on the amendment, I would not want it to be under any misapprehension on a matter as important as the proceedings and judgments of the European Commission, which Conservative Members follow closely. The High Court, in the judicial review proceedings brought by the British Aggregates Association to which the hon. Member for Christchurch referred, found that the exemption was not a state aid. The Commission ruled that the levy does not contain any state aid, contrary to the information supplied to the Committee by the hon. Gentleman, apart from the phasing in of the levy in Northern Ireland, which is accepted by the Commission as a permitted state aid under environmental guidelines of which the European Commission is the custodian. I hope that that clarification has set my hon. Friends' minds at rest.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 10, Noes 18.