Since failing to raise a single penny from illegally dumped waste via a fresh tax levied five years ago, the SNP has come under pressure.
Via the landfill tax on illegal dumping, the Scottish government has yet to raise a single penny, despite the revenue stream coming into force in 2015 after new powers were devolved by the UK government.
Revenue Scotland, part of the Scottish government, administers the landfill tax which is a tax on the disposal of waste in landfills, imposed by weight and depending on the type of material.
In Scotland, landfill owners are responsible for the tax and these costs are passed on to local authorities and corporations disposing of waste in landfills.
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Revenue Scotland raised £119 million from the landfill tax in the 2019/20 fiscal year, part of more than £700 million since 2015.
To find out how much money was collected from illegally dumped waste, the Scottish Conservatives wrote to the Scottish government.
However, a reply from Revenue Scotland Chief Executive Elaine Lorimer reported that “to date, Scottish Landfill Tax has not been collected from illegally dumped waste.”
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Ms. Lorimer added, “While the Scottish Landfill Tax for unauthorized dumping has not been recovered, Revenue Scotland has a published plan to address non-compliance in the landfill sector.”
This work has resulted in extensive litigation, including cases currently brought before the courts. Although Revenue Scotland is not a dedicated law enforcement agency, it has partnered with Police Scotland and other agencies to ensure that serious violations are resolved in order to ensure a level playing field in the industry.
The disclosure comes as calls to an official littering monitoring hotline increased to 30 a week and during the closure, a rise in illegal dumping was reported as recycling centers were temporarily closed and some traders tried to unload unwanted products.
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In 2014, the waste policy of Zero Waste Scotland announced that legislation would come into force that would “curb large-scale landfilling, with new powers for SEPA and measures to collect landfill tax from illegally dumped waste by Revenue Scotland and SEPA.”
If the measures were properly applied, it is not clear precisely how much tax will be collected, but Zero Waste Scotland reports that dumping costs the public purse at least £ 11 million a year.
Revenue Scotland claimed that identifying those responsible for illegal dumping, such as fly tipping, and demonstrating the resulting liability was difficult.
“When the landfill tax was introduced, it was made very clear that one of its purposes would be to recover money from illegally dumped waste,” said Scottish Conservative economic policy spokesman Maurice Golden.
However, more than five years after the implementation of the tax, not a single penny was collected.
“This has an obvious negative consequence for the public purse that could run into millions and will do nothing to deter those who think it is acceptable to illegally dump waste in Scotland’s communities.”
He added: “This is something the SNP has an urgent need to address.”
Public funding was never tighter and the money earned by it could be placed back in favor of the environment in Scotland.
“The SNP government needs to explain why nothing has been raised when this was one of the explicit aims of the policy.”
“The collection of the Scottish Landfill Tax and associated compliance activities are an operational matter for Revenue Scotland in its role as the devolved tax administration authority of Scotland,” said a Scottish Government spokesperson.
With a minimum fine of £ 200 and a maximum fine of £ 40,000 if fined, the Scottish government has granted SEPA and local authorities the powers to penalize someone caught flytipping.
“We’re also working with the Scottish Cosla, the Scotti,