Ritchie Welcomes Decision On Aggregrates Levy Scheme

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie (SDLP) has welcomed the European Commission’s decision on the legality of the Aggregates Levy Credit Scheme that operated in Northern Ireland.

dn_screenMs Ritchie said: “The aggregates industry in Northern Ireland, including the Quarry Products Association Northern Ireland, has campaigned tirelessly on this issue and I am very pleased to have it confirmed to me by Treasury Minister Priti Patel that the European Commission has decided that the UK government would not be required to recover aid granted under the scheme. This was the only reasonable decision in the circumstances and the only regret is that this process took so long, creating even more difficulties and uncertainty for our local industry. “However, this is only half the battle and the UK government needs to now consider this decision from Brussels in full, and look at how they can reinstate the scheme in Northern Ireland. They have given me assurances that they will do so, and I hope they live up to their previous commitment to reinstate the scheme as soon as is possible. “Our local quarrying and construction industry has faced an extremely difficult time in the last five years and this European Commission review and moratorium on the Aggregates Levy Credit Scheme heaped further misery on local companies. However, I hope this decision is the light at the end of the tunnel and these businesses can begin to thrive again as part of a sustained economic recovery,” added Ms Ritchie.