Opinion Former Article

Countryside Alliance: Budget means fly-tipping will become an epidemic

The Countryside Alliance The Countryside Alliance has warned that the already high levels of fly-tipping across the UK will reach epidemic proportions thanks to a massive hike in landfill tax in today's budget.

In the budget Chancellor Gordon Brown has hiked landfill tax beyond all previous Government targets. Whereas before the increased burden to business would have been 71% between 2007 and 2011, it is now a massive 166%, making disposal of rubbish increasingly expensive and fly-tipping increasingly appealing.

This week the Alliance launched a new report which shows that fly tipping is already costing the taxpayer £72 per minute by costing local authorities £100million a year.

As well as heralding a national fly-tipping epidemic the budget has also, as expected, raised road tax "on the highest-polluting vehicles" to £400. As the Alliance has warned, this will punish farmers and land managers who see 4x4s as a necessity and not a luxury or status symbol.

Simon Hart, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance said: "We are heading towards a heavily fly-tipped rural landscape in which all-terrain vehicles, developed for use by farmers and land managers, are too expensive for their target market. Yet again rural people are at the forefront of the Government's hasty and ill-conceived economic decisions. We estimate that only about 250,000 of the UK's 1.6million SUVs are used for all-terrain purposes, meaning this tax will batter the countryside's hard-pressed farmers yet further.

"What Government needs to do is make fly-tipping less appealing by making the safe and legal disposal of waste easier. It is ironic that this "green budget" will most likely result in more illegal waste dumping. This budget is a double hit for farmers: they already pay £47million a year to clear up fly-tipping at their own expense - they can look forward to paying more in future, added to a higher price for the SUVs that are necessary tools of their trade."

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