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

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 25th June 2002.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling Shadow Minister (Health) 10:45 am, 25th June 2002

Good morning, Mr. Benton. I should like to follow on briefly from the comments made by my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch (Mr. Chope). We must draw to the Economic Secretary's attention the fact that the debate is effectively about recycling. Although one cannot recycle the by-products of quarrying in quite the same way as the products of other processes, it would be extremely foolhardy to tax the recycling of aggregate waste out of existence and, as my hon. Friend says, create spoil heaps in the countryside.

In addressing the issue, would the Economic Secretary set the debate in the context of recycling, and give a sense of the Government's view of good environmental practice in the aggregates industry and how they intend to incentivise and encourage that? Having raised the issue with my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch rather than intervening on the Economic Secretary, I wonder whether he would address that question. There are several processes by which the product of an industrial process is extracted from water that is often taken from below ground, and there is a disposal element to that. One can also find waste products alongside the finished product—salt, for example, and the water that comes out. There is a danger that those products will be lumped together when assessed for the aggregates levy. I should be grateful if the Economic Secretary would address that point.