UK aggregates levy discount cleared to 2011
The European Commission has approved extension until 2011 of an 80% discount from the UK's aggregates levy for Northern Irish firms. The exemption was first introduced, along with the levy, in 2002 (EED 24/04/02). It was thought necessary due to "very difficult" market conditions faced by Northern Irish quarries competing with those in the Irish Republic, a Commission spokesperson told ENDS Europe DAILY. According to EU environmental aid guidelines, payment of 20% of the normally applicable rate constitutes a "significant" proportion of national tax, and is therefore admissible. See press release.