Letter from the British Aggregates Association
to Mr Nick Raynsford, Department of the Environment, Transport
and the Regions
Our members are greatly concerned about the
damage this tax will, undoubtedly, cause to our industry. They
do not think that the government is aware of the problems they
will face and many of them wish to write and explain their position.
Can you confirm if it is the DETR, or the Department of Trade
and Industry that they should, in fact, address these concerns
Are you aware of the severe anomalies which
have already become apparent?
1. The average aggregate price in London
and the Home Counties is around £10.00 per tonne and tax
will represent a 16 per cent increase. However the vast majority
of aggregate is produced in poorer rural areas where the average
sale price is £4.00 per tonne, or less, and here the tax
will represent a massive 40 per cent increase!
2. Every quarry has by-products and less
popular sizes which have to be sold cheaply to create space in
the working area, this has always been the case. However, these
products will not have to compete with other, low value, materials
which will be exempt from tax, such as slag, colliery spoil and
recyclings. This will have the effect of strangling our sites
within a short period of time.
3. Jobs in the concrete industry will effectively
be exported to France and Southern Ireland. These countries already
export concrete products to the UK and have no plans of an aggregate
4. Quarry companies in Northern Ireland
will suffer immense damage because of the "open" border
with Southern Ireland.
I sincerely hope that the government will take
another look at this issue, hopefully in a more competent and
even handed manner, before yet another of our core industries
is damaged beyond repair.
7 April 2000