§ Mr. Etherington
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to consult on proposals to institute the change to a tonnage based levy for statutory joint waste disposal authorities announced in March. 
§ Angela Eagle
When announcing the change from a council tax to a tonnage based system for the apportionment of Joint Waste Disposal Authorities levies, I requested officials in my department to work out methods for such a system and to discuss them with the local authority associations. Proposals have now been developed on how to apportion authorities' contributions on the basis of the amount of waste they deliver for disposal in a preceding period. The aim is to reflect the service each authority draws from the JWDA and to provide encouragement for waste minimisation and other sustainable methods of waste management. The more successful authorities are in minimising waste and diverting it to other forms of sustainable waste management such as recycling and composting, the less they will deliver for disposal and the less they will pay. As I said in March, this will form one more element in our policy to encourage waste management options higher up the waste hierarchy.
A consultation document will therefore be issued today to local authority associations, the JWDAs and their constituent authorities. It remains our intention to have an efficient and effective default system in place in time for the 1999–2000 levy and I would very much welcome their responses to our proposals.