26 October 2010
QPANI Informed of the
Suspension of the Northern Ireland
Aggregates Levy Credit Scheme
Aggregates Levy Credit Scheme (ALCS) in Northern Ireland is to be suspended with effect from 1 December 2010.
QPANI have received communications from HM Revenue and Customs in London notifying us that they are suspending the Aggregates Levy Credit Scheme in Northern Ireland following the EU General Court decision of September 9th. This decision follows a meeting between Treasury and Commission officials last Friday afternoon when it appears the Commission concurred with the Treasury's legal advice recommending suspension.
It is obviously very disappointing news but HMRC note the decision is based on the real risk of a challenge being taken against the Treasury for operating what is in effect an illegal state aid and the threat to operators that they would have to pay back aggregates levy of £1.60 per tonne back to September 9th and potentially to 2004.
The effect of this suspension is that all quarry operators in Northern Ireland will have to pay the full rate of aggregate levy on supplies they make after 1st December 2010.
Gordon Best, QPANI Regional Director’s view is “The only glimmer of hope we can take from this is that the Government and Commission are committed to ALCS in the long term and that they will work to develop, approve and implement a new scheme as soon as possible.”
The Association will now work to ensure that legitimate operators are protected from potential tax free imports, possible illegal extraction operations and that the rise in aggregates levy is recognised in existing supply contracts. QPANI will also continue to work with the Department of Finance, the Office of the First and deputy First Minister to keep the pressure on Treasury and the Commission to deliver a new ALCS as quickly as possible.
We will also continue to harness the widespread Political support we have at Westminster, with our MEPS and the local Assembly to ensure that pressure is brought to bear so that a new scheme is brought forward as soon as possible.
Communications from HMRC:
Letter from HMRC to inform the Association of the suspension of the Northern Ireland Aggregates Levy Credit Scheme
Written Ministerial Statement: Suspension of the Aggregates Levy Credit Scheme in Northern Ireland
HMRC Business Brief: Suspension of the Aggregates Levy Credit Scheme in Northern Ireland
Link to HMRC - Aggregates Levy
Readers can learn more about the ALCS here.