Consultation on devolved tax to support Scotland’s circular economy.
A new devolved tax will encourage greater use of recycled and other sustainable materials by the construction industry.
A consultation has begun to inform future legislation on a replacement for the UK Aggregates Levy. The levy is payable when newly quarried products like sand or rock are used for commercial purposes including housebuilding, infrastructure and landscaping.
The Scottish Government intends the Scottish Aggregates Levy will support the circular economy by encouraging use of recycled aggregates in the construction industry and supporting innovation.
The consultation seeks views to help inform the Scottish Government’s final approach to the Scottish Aggregates Levy Bill, outlining key arrangements for a future tax. It invites comments on a range of issues including:
- the rationale for and scope of the tax and whether exemptions and reliefs should be included in legislation
- operational arrangements, including how best to make use of online technology
- the case for introducing a new sustainability fund and what type of projects such a fund could aid
Public Finance Minister Tom Arthur said:
“The extraction and production of aggregates like crushed rock and sand creates and supports jobs, including many in our rural communities. However, we know that extraction of new materials can also have an environmental impact.
“These proposals are intended to drive up recycling and reuse rates, helping the construction industry meet its climate and sustainability commitments, and protecting Scotland’s natural environment by reducing the need for virgin materials.
“It will also support our ambitious National Strategy for Economic Transformation objectives for green and sustainable economic growth and result in a greater proportion of the Scottish Budget being directly raised in Scotland.
“I want to ensure this tax is well-designed, takes full account of the Scottish context and maximises opportunities offered by devolution. I would encourage all interested people and organisations to respond to this consultation.”
Read the consultation on a Scottish Aggregates Levy Bill
The Programme for Government 2022-2023, published on 6 September 2022, sets out a commitment to introduce a Scottish Aggregates Levy Bill. Draft legislation is due before the Scottish Parliament next year, and the levy’s introduction is provisionally scheduled for 2025.
As with other fully devolved taxes, rates will be set at a later date through secondary legislation, depending on factors including economic and environmental considerations.
Collection and management of the devolved tax will be administered by Revenue Scotland. The Scottish Fiscal Commission estimates that the 2022/23 Scottish share of revenue from the UK Aggregates Levy is £59 million.
Revenue Scotland has responsibility for the collection and management of the devolved taxes – currently Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and Scottish Landfill Tax, which came into effect on 1 April 2015. Revenue of almost £5 billion has been collected. Revenue Scotland is accountable to the Scottish Parliament and operates independently of the Scottish Government.
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