Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Sixth Report

Annex I

E-mail to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

from Mr David Morrison

I have read in press reports that you may be investigating whether East Antrim MP Roy Beggs should have declared his landfill site operation in the Parliamentary Register of Interests.

Mr Beggs has denied any pecuniary interest in the landfill. However, he is the site licence holder and is therefore legally responsible for landfill tax payments. Mr Beggs has also, within the past year, voted in the Commons on landfill tax, without declaring his own interest in the issue.

The Customs and Excise publication "A general guide to landfill tax" (February 2000, Notice LFT1) states on the subject of landfill tax registration:

"This applies even if you, as licence holder, allow the site to be operated by someone else. It is you, as the licence holder, who must account for and pay the tax. We cannot register a site operator who is not the licence holder."

Hansard records show that Mr Beggs voted on a landfill tax rate motion in the Commons on 27 March 2000.

He also made representations in Parliament on landfill tax and other landfill issues, on a number of occasions. For instance, he tabled a question on November 7 1995, and spoke in the Commons on both 27 March 1996 and 26 February 1998.

During all this time, Mr Beggs was a landfill site licence holder himself, but did not declare it to Parliament, or the electorate.

27 February 2001

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