Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Michelle Gildernew MP and Gerry McHugh MLA, Sinn Fein

  We would like to make a submission for your inquiry into the proposed introduction of Aggregates Tax in the six counties.

  We wish to highlight the following points:

    1.  The six counties were never taken into account during the pre-levy analysis carried out by London Economics. The six counties produce 22 million tonnes of aggregate per year. This is 10 per cent of UK production and since 16 quarries were assessed by London Economics, we should have had two quarries assessed in the six counties. Furthermore, the haulage rates used were English rates and therefore not relevant to the six counties.

    2.  No consideration was taken of the land border with the 26 counties and the significant export market that exists between the 26 and the six counties.

    3.  The tax as presently constituted will encourage the import of processed products ie concrete, asphalt and blocks into the six counties. This is because producers in the six counties have to pay £1.60/tonne of aggregate in their products whereas their counterparts in the 26 counties do not and the import of processed products is not taxed. The result of this will be job losses and relocation of companies in the 26 counties.

    4.  £1.60 subsidises the 26 counties producers' haulage into the six counties of up to 25 miles, 50 per cent of the six counties.

25 October 2001

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