By Bill Heaney

Tory MSP Sharon Dowey (South Scotland) wants to know the Scottish Government’s reaction is to reports that Barr Environmental has received a £99 million fine for having not paid tax on disposed waste. 

Barr Environmental currently ships sewage matter from the sewage works at Dalmuir through Dumbarton to an old quarry on farmland in the Auchencarroh Hills at Jamestown above Balloch.

The Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth, Tom Arthur, told her that It would not be appropriate for Scottish ministers to comment on any individual tax dispute.

“The collection and management of the fully devolved taxes are matters for Revenue Scotland in its role as Scotland’s independent tax authority,” Mr Arthur said.

Sharon Dowey protested that Barr, who provides waste management services to councils other than West Dunbartonshire, and that they may have to provide more funding to Barr for it to provide waste services – “as the company cannot operate under the terms of its previous contracts”.

She asked: “What discussions will the Scottish Government have with councils regarding the future of the company and waste management services in the area in order to ensure that the councils receive any extra funding that they require so that there is no impact on local services?”

But Mr Arthur told her: “I stress to the member again that it would not be appropriate for Scottish ministers to comment on the matter.

“However, I stress that the Scottish Environment Protection Agency works to ensure the safe management of all licensed landfill sites in order to protect the environment and communities.”

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