HC Deb 27 February 1996 vol 272 cc455-6W
Sir Sydney Chapman

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to revise the fees and charges for waste management licensing; and if he will make a statement. [17877]

Mr. Clappison

My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for the Environment, for Wales and for Scotland have made the Waste Management Licensing (Fees and Charges) Scheme 1996 under section 41 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The scheme has been made with the approval of the Treasury and comes into force on 1 April 1996.

In line with the "polluter pays" principle, the financial objective of the charging scheme is full recovery of the costs of supervising sites licensed under section 35 of the 1990 Act; and the cost of considering licence applications. With the aim of fulfilling this objective, the 1996 charging scheme increases subsistence charges by 15 per cent. and application fees by 2.75 per cent.

In order to reduce the effect of the introduction of charges on small businesses, we set some of them at 70 per cent. of our assessment of full cost recovery in 1994–95 and 1995–96. The abrupt ending of this transitional provision would have had a disproportionate impact on the businesses affected. We have therefore decided that the transitional provision should be retained for one year longer than was originally intended and should be set at 85 per cent. of our assessment of full cost recovery in 1996–97.

As required by section 41 of the 1990 Act, a copy of the 1996 charging scheme is being laid before the House and placed in the Library of the House.

Subsequent charging schemes for waste manage licensing will be made under sections 41 and 42 of the Environment Act 1995 on the basis of proposals submitted by the Environment Agency and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and they will reflect the costs incurred by the agencies in their operation of the licensing system.

Forward to