Four firms face closure daily because of a massive increase in the tax levied on the waste in skips, a protest meeting in the House of Commons was told.
It was held afterThe Independentdisclosed that the rate to dump some types of rubble in landfill sites had leapt from £2.50 a tonne to £64 a tonne. Companies warned that levels of fly-tipping would soar and rubbish go uncollected as a result of the "skip tax" announced last month.
Mark Bensted, managing director of the recycling firm Powerday, told MPs: "It's irresponsible, it's unfair and the implication of the rise could be catastrophic for this industry and the construction industry as a whole."
Drivers from skip hire companies have already staged a demonstration in Parliament Square and are planning their next protest. They warned firms will start going bust or dismissing staff within days.
But a spokesman for HM Revenue and Customs said: "We responded to concerns expressed by landfill operators that some companies were not paying the right rate of tax and in the process disadvantaging those who paid the correct rate."
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