Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum submitted by the British Aggregates Association

  The British Aggregates Association was rather surprised to see the comments that the Financial Secretary to the Treasury made to the Committee concerning the failure of the industry to raise the problem of Northern Ireland. Indeed, the Minister said "the industry and its representatives did not actually raise the issue until fairly late in the day" (paragraph 230).

  The British Aggregates Association was formed in April 2000. As early as 7 April 2000, the BAA wrote to Nick Raynsford MP, then Minister for Construction, outlining four concerns about the aggregates levy, one of which was the issue of Northern Ireland. Following a meeting with officials from the Treasury and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (as it then was) in June 2000, we also wrote to John Hall, Andrew Field's predecessor at the Treasury, on 30 June 2000, to detail the problems in Northern Ireland. This was in response to a specific request to provide further information, and we understood that the Treasury would then take forward a detailed analysis of the issue. We are disappointed by the implication of the Financial Secretary that it was only in January of this year, when the CBI raised the issue, that it began to be taken seriously.

  I am enclosing copies of the two letters and trust that you will bring this matter to the attention of the Committee.

27 November 2001

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