CHANCELLOR ISSUES PRE-BUDGET REPORT
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling MP, has issued the pre-budget report for 2009, emphasising the Governmentâ€™s desire not to let the current economic downturn impact on spending on renewable energy and other environmental projects.
â€œAction to achieve environmental goals remains a high priority,â€ he stated in his address to Parliament. Of key importance, the pre-budget report states the Renewables Obligation will be extended until â€œat least 2037â€, in order to encourage increased investment in renewable energy technologies.
In addition the report reaffirms the Governmentâ€™s aim to implement a feed in tariff for small-scale energy generation (under 5MW) and a renewable heat incentive to encourage more on site generation. Furthermore a new Low Carbon Industrial Strategy will be developed in 2009, outlining a vision of how companies can take advantage of a â€œlow-carbon economyâ€.
The report also confirms that the scheduled increases in landfill tax, by Â£8 per tonne up to 2010/11 will go ahead and indeed will continue post-2011.
The increase in the lower rate of landfill tax, applying to inactive waste, from Â£2 per tonne to Â£2.50 (to be frozen at Â£2.50 in 2009/10) will also stay unchanged, as will the planned phase-out of the exemption from landfill tax for waste arising from the clean up of contaminated land by 2012 (in order to extend land remediation relief).
Finally, as previously announced, a new packaging strategy will be produced in 2009 setting out how packaging policy can contribute to a low carbon economy by reducing waste at source and increasing recycling.