Members of the WMBA Board have met with senior representatives of HMRC and Defra to discuss separate proposals to recover significant amounts of unpaid tax and tackle waste crime.
HMRC introduced a consultation paper in December 2017 titled ‘Tackling the Hidden Economy: Public sector licensing’, which sets out the case to recover some of the tax gap resulting from the ‘Hidden Economy*’, estimated at £3.5 billion in 2015/16.
One of the key elements of the proposed HMRC approach is ‘Conditionality’. This aligns the ability to obtain the necessary operating licenses with a timely and correct taxation status and registration.
WMBA officers also met with the Joint Heads of Waste Regulation and Crime from Defra to discuss initiatives and the strategic approach to combating waste crime in the UK.
Defra has introduced a consultation paper titled ‘A consultation on proposals to tackle crime and poor performance in the waste sector and introduce a new fixed penalty for the waste Duty of Care’. The paper sets out plans to reduce the adverse economic and environmental impacts of waste crime, which was estimated at £604 million in 2015.
The proposed action includes:
• New regulations and funding to give greater powers and resources to the Enforcement Authorities
• Increasing the responsibility of land owners
• Greater tracking of waste carrier/ broker/ dealer licensing and operations
• Tougher sentencing for those found guilty of breaching waste regulations
• Greater co-operation and sharing of intelligence with local authorities
• Increased education and raising awareness of all involved in waste management
The WMBA has made the case to the HMRC and Defra to ensure a clear and firm conditional licensing and regulatory regime, whilst maintaining proportionality and practicality for those compliant businesses working in the industry. It has also encouraged all members to take part in the consultation and express their views, suggestions and concerns in order to shape and develop our industry for the future.