29 January 2021 by Steve Eminton

UK landfill tax rates stay similar after Scottish budget

With the Scottish government yesterday (28 January) confirming its landfill tax rates for the next financial year, all the UK nations – as is currently the case – will have the same rate for 2021/2022.

Coming into force from the beginning of April, the new rate announced for Scotland is: £96.70 per tonne for standard rate landfill tax and £3.10 for the lower ‘inert’ rate.  These are the same figures announced  for Wales in December and for England and Northern Ireland last spring.

Both the Scottish and Welsh government have commented that by keeping the tax rates the same across the UK, it will not encourage waste tourism. Lower charges in any country are seen as possibly attracting waste disposal to landfill to avoid any higher landfill tax rate.

Landfill tax rates will remain similar across the UK in 2021/22 (picture: Shutterstock)

Landfill tax rates across the UK will have risen by inflation, rounded to the nearest five pence. Currently (2020/2021) the rate is £94.15 per tonne and the lower rate is £3.00.

‘National mission’

The Scottish tax rate came in documents for the country’s budget which was unveiled by the finance secretary, Kate Forbes. Ms Forbes said: “It is a budget that delivers a national mission for new, good, and green jobs, backed by a large-scale and transformational programme of infrastructure investment, to boost skills and employment opportunities for all, with a supportive tax environment to deliver inclusive growth across all of Scotland.”

The budget documents also give an aim of the Scottish Government as: “to diversify our economy, create good, green jobs, and to lead the world in transitioning to net-zero.”

Illegal disposal

In England, HMRC now levies the landfill tax on waste illegally deposited equivalent to the landfill tax avoided. In Wales £145.05 per tonne for illegal waste deposits, as part of a ‘penalty’ process. Known as the ‘unauthorised disposals rate’, the Welsh government has set this at £145.05 for 2021/2022.

Sustainable alternatives

UK government commentary on the landfill tax states: “Landfill Tax was introduced on 1 October 1996 to encourage waste producers and the waste management industry to switch to more sustainable alternatives for disposing of material. There is a lower rate of tax, which applies to less polluting qualifying materials covered by two Treasury Orders, and a standard rate which applies to all other taxable material disposed of at authorised landfill sites. Previously, the tax applied across the UK but from 1 April 2015 it was devolved in Scotland and from 1 April 2018 in Wales.”

Related links
Excise Notice LFT1: a general guide to Landfill Tax – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


There is no such thing as inert rate Landfill tax.
Waste is classified as either Hazardous or Non-Hazardous.
LFT is either standard rate or lower rate…not Hazardous or Inert. Please can you use the correct terminology.

Posted by John Curran on January 29, 2021

In Scotland approx. one third of our waste being disposed of in to landfill are contaminated soils, the vast majority of which are fully recoverable. In 2015 we had a growing soil recyling sector but Scottish Environment Protection Agency insisted that the majority of these soils (non-hazardous) should attract the lower rate of landfill tax. This made landfill a cheaper option to remediation and recovery thus causing the decimation of the Scottish contaminated soil recycling sector. All in the UN International year of Soil – you could not make this up…!

The new report on the Scottish vacant and derelict land states the blinding obvious that we should be doing more with this wasted resource.

Terry A’Hearn, Iain Gulland and Scottish National Party (SNP) are all fully aware of the situation but are choosing for now to ignore the elephants in the room.

With simple joined up thinking and removing the blockages we could create jobs, improve biodiversity, grow biofuels, produce, etc but alas the elephants are still roaming around espousing greatness but failing to meet environmental targets.

If I’m talking rubbish let me know. If like me you what sustainablegrowth please like and pass this on to others who want change.

Posted by John Curran on January 29, 2021

To post your comment, please login or signup.

Login Sign up