Letter from the Financial Secretary, HM
Treasury to the Chairman of the Committee
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell
you about the development of the aggregates levy last Thursday.
In today's Pre-Budget statement, the Chancellor
of the Exchequer proposed a phased introduction of the levy on
aggregates used in processed products in Northern Ireland, subject
to European Commission state aid approval.
The Government has considered in detail the
impact of the aggregates levy on Northern Ireland. As a result,
it is attracted to phasing in the levy for aggregates used in
processed products in Northern Ireland over a period of up to
five years. This will allow this specific sector time to adjust
to changed market conditions. We will need state aid approval
from the European Commission for this proposal and will be submitting
a notification to the Commission shortly.
As you know, imports of unprocessed aggregate
will be subject to the levy while exports will be relieved. Together
with arrangements to phase in the introduction of the levy for
the aggregates used in the manufacture of processed products in
Northern Ireland, this will avoid adverse effects on the competitiveness
of quarries there.
27 November 2001