The Aggregates Levy is a tax on the commercial exploitation of aggregate, which includes crushed rock, sand and gravel, as well as the spoil, waste, offcuts and other by-products of:
- cutting rock to produce stone with one or more flat surfaces
- extracting industrial minerals
- producing lime or cement from limestone or limestone and other substances
- using shale for a non-construction use
It is an environmental tax designed to discourage the extraction of virgin aggregate and encourage the recycling of construction and demolition waste.
The Scotland Act 2016 carried forward new legislative powers for raising the Aggregates Levy in Scotland.
In February 2019, the UK Government announced that long-standing litigation on the UK Aggregates Levy had concluded. In July 2020, the UK Government concluded a review considering potential reforms to the levy, taking account of its objectives and impact, the effectiveness of the current design and the environmental and business context for aggregate construction and supply. In August 2020 the Scottish Government published research reviewing, modelling and analysing illustrative options for a Scotland-specific Aggregates Levy.
The Programme for Government 2022 to 2023 sets out a commitment to introduce a Scottish Aggregates Levy Bill. To help inform the Bill, the Scottish Government consulted on proposals regarding the structure and operation of the replacement tax. The Scottish Government will continue to develop the Scottish Aggregates Levy Bill, working with stakeholders and the UK Government to consider policy options and develop the necessary evidence base.
A timeline for the introduction of a devolved levy has not yet been agreed. The UK levy will continue to apply in the interim.