BREW funding to be slashed by 50%
I heard yesterday from good sources that the Government is going to slash the funds distributed through the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) programme by 50%.
BREW is hypothecated cash from the landfill tax escalator. For the last three years has been used to fund organisations that help reduce industrial waste going to landfill such as Envirowise (waste minimisation), WRAP – the Waste and Resources Action Programme (recycling and markets for recycled materials), the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (connecting companies who can use each other’s ‘waste’) plus a number of related ventures such as the Carbon Trust (energy efficiency) and a variety of regional bodies. The idea is neat: take money off the biggest producers of waste (providing the ‘stick’ to reduce that waste) and use it to fund enabling mechanisms to reduce barriers to change (carrots).
As I understand it the national bodies will have their funding cut and there will be nothing for the regions.
Terra Infirma has benefited from the BREW programme: we have a contract to deliver Envirowise work, have obtained subsidies from Midas (the BREW funded North East resource efficiency brokerage) for our clients, and have attended Carbon Trust training, so I admit we do have a vested interest. However it is difficult to understand the logic of diverting landfill tax away from environmental programmes and into the general pot (or the Olympics if you want to be really cynical). It certainly plays into the hands of those who see green taxation merely as another stealth tax. A bad move all round.