Belfast Telegraph

Treasury may have to repay £3bn quarry levy

By Mark McLaughlin

The Treasury could be forced to pay back almost £3bn to businesses which have paid an allegedly unlawful levy on building materials.

The European General Court is due to give its judgment on the aggregates levy, a tax on the commercial exploitation of rock, sand and gravel.

Quarry owners in border areas of Northern Ireland have claimed they could be put out of business because the tax on UK firms means they are losing out to rivals in the Republic, who can import materials into the UK without paying a fee.

Richard Bird, executive officer of the British Aggregates Association, appeared before a committee of the Scottish Parliament to discuss proposals for the Scottish portion of the levy to be devolved.

Mr Bird said such proposals may be moot as the levy could shortly be withdrawn following his organisation’s successful case in the European Court.

Belfast Telegraph