HC Deb 09 July 2002 vol 388 c865W
Mr. Peter Duncan

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many opencast mines have applied for exemption from the Aggregates Levy in respect of their sales of surplus aggregates by-product; [67231]

(2) for what reason aggregates created as by-product from open cast mining are excluded from the Aggregates Levy; [67232]

(3) what assessment he has made of the proportion of aggregates used in the United Kingdom that will be exempt from the Aggregates Levy; [67228]

(4) what systems are in place to detect fraudulent avoidance of the Aggregates Levy. [67230]

John Healey

Open cast mines which do not produce any taxable aggregate are not required to register for the levy.

Current revenue forecasts use only those aggregate arisings which are subject to the levy, and therefore no assessment has been made of the proportion of aggregates used in the UK that will be exempt from the levy.

The spoil arising from the separation of coal from rock after it has been extracted from an open cast mine is exempt because it is a waste material and its use as aggregate is specifically encouraged in the Government's mineral planning guidelines.

Customs are utilising audit trails which already exist within business accounting records and are targeting resources in accordance with perceived risk. Where fraud is detected, Customs will use their powers to recover the revenue due and impose penalties.