Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs Minutes of Evidence

NI Annual Report

  i.  Loss to the exchequer (£54 million)

  ii.  Loss of 4,000 jobs and their associated investments.

  iii  No improved environmental position

  iv.  Nominal reduction in extraction.

  v.  Major reduction in funding available for public expenditure. Will the Toome By Pass by or Went Link Upgrade ever be built.

  vi.  Local communities in TSN areas further disadvantaged.

  3.  Q43

  The actual date of this meeting was 29 September 1999.

  This meeting was arranged by Mr Sebastian Hordern of the Confederation of British Industry and was attended by one of their officials, Mr Steve Fidgett, Executive Secretary—Minerals Committee, as well as QPA NI representatives.

  I have attached correspondence between the Treasury and ourselves regarding the meeting[1]

  Also included is correspondence between QPA NI and the CBI on the matter.

  4.  Q48

  The level of CO2 emissions associated with Aggregates extraction and transportation is based on English average haulage distances travelled from the originating site to the customer. This equates to 11 kg CO2/tonne of stone extracted and delivered and is based on a haulage distance of 32 miles.

  Given that the average haulage distance for aggregates within Northern Ireland is approximately 12 miles this CO2 emission reduces to 4 kg/tonne of aggregate extracted and delivered. Therefore it is clear that the environmental impact of quarrying in Northern Ireland is further reduced in comparison to that on mainland UK.

  However, if the tax is introduced in its present form in Northern Ireland the amount of CO2 emitted will rise dramatically as a result of increased imports of processed products from the Republic into Northern Ireland. In addition to this the number of companies close to the border who will move their processed product manufacture over the border, will extract their stone in the Northern, export it to their new processing plant just over the border TAX FREE, then import their processed product, either concrete or blacktop, back into Northern Ireland TAX FREE. At no time during this process will tax be paid yet a situation will have been created where lorry movements have increased and therefore the level of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere has increased also.

  Government will unintentionally create a situation where people with breathing difficulties in these border areas will be put at greater risk.

  The increased haulage movements will undoubtedly have a health and safety impact for road users in these areas.

12 November 2001

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