The Scottish Government is seeking views on a new devolved tax aimed at encouraging greater use of recycled and sustainable materials in the construction industry.
It has launched a consultation to inform future legislation on a replacement for the UK Aggregates Levy, which is payable when newly-quarried products like sand or rock are used for commercial purposes including housebuilding, infrastructure and landscaping.
The government intends the Scottish Aggregates Levy will support the circular economy by encouraging the use of recycled aggregates in the construction industry.
It is inviting comments on a range of issues, including the rationale for and scope of the tax and whether exemptions and reliefs should be included in legislation; operational arrangements including how best to make use of online technology; and the case for introducing a new sustainability fund and what type of projects such a fund could support.
Aggregates make an important contribution to Scotland’s economy, providing materials for housing, construction, road-building and other uses and supporting employment, including in rural and remote areas of the country.
They are also required as construction materials to support the ambitions for the environment, including for diversification of the energy mix and are used both in and mixed with other materials to produce new products used in construction such as mortar, tarmac and concrete.
Collection and management of the devolved tax will be administered by Revenue Scotland.
Public Finance Minister Tom Arthur said: “The extraction and production of aggregates like crushed rock and sand creates and supports jobs, including many in our rural communities. However, we know that extraction of new materials can also have an environmental impact.
“These proposals are intended to drive up recycling and reuse rates, helping the construction industry meet its climate and sustainability commitments, and protecting Scotland’s natural environment by reducing the need for virgin materials.
“It will also support our ambitious National Strategy for Economic Transformation objectives for green and sustainable economic growth and result in a greater proportion of the Scottish Budget being directly raised in Scotland.”
The consultation closes on 4th December 2022.