By Caelia Quinault
Skip hire businesses staged a protest outside Parliament today (May 24) over controversial changes to the rules governing landfill tax.
Companies blocked Parliament Square with their vehicles to draw attention to the changes, which were announced on Friday by HMRC and operators said amounted to a recycling tax.
The protest from 10am involved around fifty vehicles and lasted around three hours, causing traffic chaos, until the police cleared them.
Tony Dickens, from skip hire company GBN Services, who was amongthose to join the protest, told letsrecycle.com: The tax goes against everything government has said before in relation to landfill tax. In the past they said we have to recycle more.
I think the government need to have a re-think. There is the possibility that there will be more protests.
The changes announced by HMRC are two-fold. Firstly, fines from trommels and screens which have in the past been charged the lower landfill tax rate of 2.50 for inert material will now be charged the full rate of 64 a tonne for active material.
Secondly, waste or material used to cover waste in landfill cells before they are capped will also be taxed at the full rate (see letsrecycle.com story).
Yesterday, skip hire businesses expressed their shock over the changes, which some said could cost them hundreds of thousands of pounds in extra disposal costs (see letsrecycle.com story) .
But, others have reacted more positively to the change. Earlier today SITA UK chief executive David Palmer-Jones said he welcomed the changes (see letsrecycle.com story) .