Government defends landfill tax enforcement

The exchequer secretary to the treasury, James Cartlidge MP, defended the government’s enforcement of landfill tax fraud during a debate in parliament yesterday (13 January).

Mr Cartlidge highlighted that His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) “has learned lessons from previous operational activity and is developing a number of criminal investigations into those involved in waste crime”.

He also stated that HMRC has deployed more resources, doubling staff numbers to 50, to increase the number of civil investigations of landfill tax non-compliance. He acknowledged that it is a “relatively difficult tax to enforce”.

In response to criticism from MPs, he argued that the tax should be considered in light of the reduction in landfill it has helped achieve.

“Imagine how many square miles of our wonderful countryside would now be taken up by landfill. It is a striking thought,” he said. However, he also acknowledged that there is always more work to do in tackling those who try to take advantage of the system.


The debate was secured by Kevan Jones, the Labour MP for North Durham, who argued that there are solutions to landfill tax fraud but that “blind eyes have been turned by various government agencies” and that there is a lack of political will to fully address the issue and its impact on revenue collection and communities.

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