Having been told by the UK government that he can’t have his hugely expensive and wasteful “Waste for London” the Mayor has been reduced to grassing up UK local authorities to the European Commission. It seems he wants us to pay for an expensive London “embassy ” in Brussels and then he wants to use it to shop London councils to the EC in order to ensure that they pay an extra £150 per Tonne to dispose of trade waste. The man loves to hose your cash down the drain.
A complex scheme called LATS will be costing councils some £150 per Tonne to dispose of waste to landfill over the next few years. This works at the margin so that any amount over a certain limit is affected. The limits are being reduced each year and LATS will start to bite many councils in a couple of years. The Mayor thinks that some councils are getting rid of their commercial waste operations to ensure that they stay under the threshold. Stupidly this legislation only affects councils and not commercial waste operators.
In any case it is a bit strange that councils provide commercial waste services. There are a range of commercial services and it is something of a conflict of interest to enforce one set of legislation that requires all businesses to have a commercial waste agreement whilst selling the same service in a competitive market. As they are at a commercial disadvantage to commercial operators who do not have to pay the £150 per Tonne LATS tax it is not surprising that some councils would pull out of the business. It is a surprise to me that more don’t.
The Mayor’s campaign to expand his empire to include a waste quango is all well and good but it seems he is prepared to stitch up London councils that are just trying to do the right thing in order to achieve his objectives.