BAA calls on Tory government to repeal Aggregates Levy
Association director asks new business secretary Sajid Javid MP to take a personal interest in the matter
ROBERT Durward, director of the British Aggregates Association (BAA), has written to the newly appointed Secretary of Sate for Business, Innovation & Skills, Sajid Javid MP, asking him to take a personal interest in the long-standing issue of the Aggregates Levy.
Mr Javid (pictured), who replaced Vince Cable as business secretary following the general election, has vowed to sweep away at least £10 billion of ‘burdensome’ red tape for companies during the current parliament.
In his letter, Mr Durward briefly outlined how, since its introduction by New Labour in 2002, the levy had ‘distorted competition’ and put a number of companies out of business, and was continuing to ‘cause the industry a great deal of unnecessary grief’, particularly in Northern Ireland.
He went on to say how success in the courts in the BAA’s ongoing legal action against the levy was threatening to put even more operators out of business. The EU recently found that the shale exemption constituted illegal state aid, which means a number of companies are due to repay the aid back to 2002, together with compound interest.
‘The Conservative Party strongly opposed the levy and promised to repeal it if returned to power,’ said Mr Durward. ‘Being in Coalition apparently didn’t count, but hopefully the matter will now be reviewed.’
Adding that, as a primary industry, quarries add a great deal to the rural economy and should be helped rather than hindered, Mr Durward concluded his letter by calling on the business secretary to take the matter up with the Chancellor, and offering to brief officials on the matter, which, he said, was by no means straightforward.