Landfill Tax

– in the Scottish Parliament on 5th March 2020.

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Photo of Maurice Golden Maurice Golden Conservative

2. To ask the Scottish Government what consideration it is giving to varying landfill tax rates and bands during the extended period before a biodegradable municipal waste to landfill ban. (S5O-04213)

Photo of Ben Macpherson Ben Macpherson Scottish National Party

Rates and bands for the Scottish landfill tax are intended to support a more circular economy and the delivery of our ambitious targets to reduce waste, increase recycling and cut the amount of waste that goes to landfill.

As confirmed in the Scottish budget, work is under way to explore the role that the Scottish landfill tax could play in encouraging a further shift away from the landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste. A further announcement will be made when that work is complete.

Photo of Maurice Golden Maurice Golden Conservative

Will the minister confirm that this Government’s woeful record of failure in meeting waste targets, leading to artificially high landfill tax revenues, is more a muddle than a fiddle?

Photo of Ben Macpherson Ben Macpherson Scottish National Party

As I said, work is under way to explore further changes to the landfill tax. However, in general, we expect local authorities to discharge their statutory obligations using their existing funding. In the case of the transition to the ban on biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill, there are no plans to review or change the arrangements.

As I said in my answer to Maurice Golden’s first question, a further announcement will be made regarding our exploration of the role that the Scottish landfill tax could play in encouraging a further shift away from the landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste.

Photo of Emma Harper Emma Harper Scottish National Party

Landfill tax is one of the many important tools that can be used to incentivise a reduction in waste. Will the minister outline additional measures in the Scottish budget that will support a reduction in waste and an increase in recycling?

Photo of Ben Macpherson Ben Macpherson Scottish National Party

As part of our response to the global climate emergency, the Scottish budget will continue to support the transition to a circular economy, as I have said, in cutting waste and carbon emissions, and opening up economic opportunities. That includes the development of a deposit return scheme for single-use drinks containers, which will reduce litter and make high-quality recycled materials available to the Scottish economy, as well as activity to support innovation in reducing waste and developing the circular economy through the circular economy investment fund. We are also committed to introducing a circular economy bill during this parliamentary session.