Sir George welcomes waste strategy, but asks where the money is coming from
24 May 2007
Following David Miliband's statement to the House on a Waste Strategy. Sir George asked who would be paying for it.
Sir George: "I am afraid I didn't get a straight answer!" (see below)

Sir George Young (North-West Hampshire) (Con): May I press the Secretary of State a little further on the issue of resources, which was raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for Fylde (Mr. Jack)? In response to my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State conceded that the White Paper was silent on resources. Until that issue is resolved, there must be some doubt about the attainability of the measures set out in the strategy. Does he believe that the ambitious target can be reached from local authorities’ existing baselines? Does he anticipate getting additional grants from the Chancellor, or will any additional costs be borne by the council tax payer?

David Miliband: I recognise that the right hon. Gentleman, as a former Minister for local government, speaks with authority on the subject. I think that it is recognised on both sides of the House that waste costs are one of the larger pressures on local authority funds. No one would say that there were not real pressures on local authorities to go above their current spending in that regard. Obviously, we need to study the exact nature of those pressures. Of course, there are savings to be made as a result of some of the announcements that I have made today. The diversion from landfill and the avoidance of landfill tax fines is an important way of minimising the extra costs, and obviously we are looking into those issues. I am happy to write and give the exact figures, but I point out that there has been a very large increase in both the revenue and the capital support provided to local authorities to take care of waste infrastructure. There is further to go, but we have made big strides over the past 10 years.

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