The European Commission has concluded that all but one of the exemptions, exclusions and tax reliefs from the aggregates levy introduced in the United Kingdom in 2002 are free of state aid.
The British aggregates levy is a tax on aggregates, a material often used in construction, which aims to encourage the use of recycled aggregates and reduce environmental damage. The Commission has now found that only the exemption for shale and spoil for shale extraction are not justified. This is because shale is the only exempted material that is deliberately extracted to produce aggregates. Exempting shale and spoil for shale extraction from the aggregates levy therefore would not contribute to the environmental objective of the tax. As a result, the beneficiaries of the exemption for shale and spoil for shale have received an undue advantage that they now have to pay back.