Quarry tax outcome

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 21 March 2000 a tax of £1.60 per tonne on aggregates to tackle the adverse environmental and social impacts of the quarrying industry.

Quarrying takes a heavy toll from the local environment and neighbouring communities. Wildlife areas, green spaces, footpaths and public access are damaged or destroyed. Noisy, dirty traffic is generated in previously peaceful areas.

The ‘polluter pays' principle is a well established one, however, the quarry industry refuses to accept there is a problem and has been lobbying hard for an exemption in Northern Ireland.

Friends of the Earth suggest that the tax would encourage an increase in the level of recycling of demolition waste, enabling quarry companies to become more innovative and efficient and allowing hard-hit rural communities to diversify into more sustainable enterprises.

Instead of calling for an exemption we should be engaging with our neighbours to establish island-wide economic reform and harmonisation of taxation. This would give us a head start in establishing our indigenous industries as environmental world leaders.

Press for change

Friends of the Earth (NI) recently asked people to email Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, supporting our campaign to introduce the tax.In his pre-budget speech, the Chancellor announced the phased introduction of the tax into Northern Ireland. More details about the announcement will be available on this page shortly.