By Bill Heaney
Landfill is a big issue in West Dunbartonshire. People here can see – and smell – the huge lorries that ferry sewage from Dalmuir to Duntocher for dumping.
Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie told MSPs at Holyrood that in July this year a new tax amendment for landfill had been approved by Revenue Scotland.
As a result of this, Barr Environmental Ltd, which has contracts for landfill with West Dunbartonshire Council, Argyll and Bute Council and Inverclyde Council, is increasing the cost of dumping this waste
“That will cost West Dunbartonshire Council alone £1.5 million extra. It simply does not have that money, Ms Baillie told MSPs.
She asked: “Will the First Minister consider whether the order can be paused while the issue is investigated?
“Time is pressing, and, unless the Government can rectify the perceived error, the contract might end in a couple of weeks and rubbish will be piling up on the streets of West Dunbartonshire.”
However, Nicola Sturgeon told her: “First, Revenue Scotland operates independently of Scottish ministers in its role as our tax authority.
“It would not be proper for me to comment on what is an individual taxpayer dispute. I will ask the relevant minister whether more information can be provided and, if so, to write to Jackie Baillie.
“I can say that our view is that the recent amendment order does not alter or expand the scope of the Scottish landfill tax; rather, the order provides additional confirmation by making it explicit that particular landfill site activities are within its intended scope.”