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Pay-as-you-throw rubbish tax approved
10-29-2007, 09:01 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-29-2007, 09:03 PM by drummer.)
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Pay-as-you-throw rubbish tax approved
Pay-as-you-throw rubbish tax approved

Plans to allow councils to implement “pay-as-you-throw” schemes to encourage recycling were given the go-ahead after all despite an intervention by Downing Street.

Changes to the draft Climate Change Bill allow townhalls to pilot “incentive” schemes, whereby householders would pay a penalty for too much rubbish and be rewarded for throwing out less.

The scheme, first proposed by David Miliband, the former Environment Secretary, was said to be opposed by Downing Street as too politically damaging in the run-up to next May’s local election.

Last week an announcement to proceed with the scheme was cancelled at the last minute, prompting speculation that it had been dropped entirely.

But a spokeswoman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said that the proposals were back on, although they would first be introduced in “pilot” form. The Climate Change Bill with the new amendment will be published next month.

The Government’s apparent “flip flop” on rubbish charges prompted renewed accusations of dithering at the heart of Government. The Conservatives claimed that Gordon Brown was “bottling it again” on scrapping a bin tax.

“Despite Gordon Brown’s talk of new politics, the Labour Government has been caught red-handed reverting back to its old ways of burying bad news,” said Eric Pickles, Shadow Communities Secretary.

“Bin taxes will harm the local environment by leading to a surge in fly-tipping and toxic backyard burning, yet the Government is cynically trying to give this hated tax some political cover by hiding it in its Climate Change Bill,” Mr Pickles added.

“This just shows how Gordon Brown cannot be trusted – one week briefing out that he opposes bin taxes, the next introducing this new tax on family homes by stealth.”

The Defra spokeswoman said that details of the schemes and how many there would be had still to be worked out. She refused to comment on Downing Street’s position although it is understood Mr Brown insisted that the schemes were piloted.

Paul Bettison, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Environment Board, said that councils were doing everything they could to keep down landfill costs, boost recycling and protect the environment.

“The Government’s decision to provide a power for councils to introduce financial incentive pilot schemes for reducing waste is a significant step in the right direction. We look forward to working with Defra to develop schemes that will help reduce household waste and boost recycling. It is also now up to local councils to decide if they think financial incentives will work in their area.

“It is vital that any authority thinking of introducing incentive schemes should first make sure there’ll be no overall increase in council tax, it has public support and measures are in place to prevent fly-tipping.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/poli...icle2766605.ece
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