6. Annex A - Advisory Group
In early 2023, taking consultation feedback and stakeholder views into account, the Scottish Government concluded that further work was needed to ensure that decisions on policy positions for the devolved tax were based on a further programme of stakeholder engagement. To support this engagement process an advisory group was convened.
The membership of the advisory group was designed to provide a broad range of subject matter expertise and perspectives, and its terms of reference was framed to ensure it had the appropriate scope to consider and share its reflections.
Members included aggregates industry representative bodies, aggregates producers (both new and recycled materials), aggregates consumers (including key public sector bodies), corporate stakeholders with an interest, and environmental organisations.
The group was chaired by a senior Scottish Government official from the Land and Environmental Taxation Division in the Tax and Revenues Directorate.
The group has met on five occasions in 2023, with each meeting focused on a key issue requiring detailed consideration to help develop policy positions and, in turn, Bill provisions.
At the first meeting, members discussed and agreed ways of working, heard more about the aggregates sector in Scotland and were updated on the policy development work on the devolved tax. At subsequent meetings members discussed a series of key issues which the Scottish Government considered to require further detailed consideration in order to help develop and refine policy positions.
A summary of each meeting is provided below; as are full notes from the advisory group meetings.
First Meeting – 2 March 2023
Following opening remarks from Tom Arthur MSP, Minister for Community Wealth and Public Finance, there were a series of presentations, including background regarding aggregate production in Scotland and the context for developing a devolved tax. The meeting also provided an opportunity for members to discuss initial views on some key issues.
Second Meeting – 24 March 2023
At the second meeting members discussed possible definitions of “aggregate” and “commercial exploitation” that could be used for tax purposes, as well as the case for various tax exemptions and reliefs.
Third Meeting – 19 April 2023
At this meeting, members discussed the potential tax treatment of imports and exports of aggregates to and from Scotland, and prospective approaches to the setting of tax rates.
Fourth Meeting – 5 May 2023
Members discussed a range of issues related to the potential establishment of a sustainability fund linked to the tax, as well as the prospective approach of Revenue Scotland to tax administration.
Fifth Meeting – 12 October 2023
At this meeting, the Scottish Government provided an update on the work undertaken since the last meeting and a summary of the key messages and points that the Scottish Government had taken from the first four meetings. This allowed for further discussion on various issues.
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