U-turn on red diesel use ‘a partial victory’

The government has made a U-turn in relation to the use of red diesel in ploughing matches, it has emerged.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 8:00 am

During a recent question-and-answer, HMRC stipulated that red diesel would not be permitted for use in ploughing matches after April 1.

However, this is no longer the case as ploughing matches ‘provide information and education that benefits agricultural purposes’.

Red diesel can also continue to be used in vehicles participating in agricultural shows, and travelling to and from the events.

Rebarted diesel is marked with a red dye

The clarity was given by the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Conservative MP Helen Whatley, in response to a question at the House of Commons.

She said: “As agricultural shows and ploughing matches provide information and education that benefits agricultural purposes, the government considers that running or participating in these activities are purposes relating to agriculture, for which rebated fuel may be used in qualifying vehicles and machines, and will be updating Excise Notice 75 accordingly.”

The minister added: “Rebated fuel can also be used to travel to and from where the vehicles or machines are to be used for these activities.”

The news was welcomed by DUP MP Carla Lockhart, who said: “Allowing red diesel to be used at ploughing matches and agricultural shows is a partial win for our economy.

“Additionally, the fact that farmers can continue to clear and grit roads in times of storm or flooding is a huge relief and in many ways a win for all those who engage in this very helpful assistance in times of need.

“The law change was going to massively impact the ability to run events as fuel costs would have been extortionate. Additionally it was not clear if a farmer was able to assist on the roads network if an emergency occurred.”

She continued: “However, this clarity does not go far enough for much-loved and well attended tractor runs, which are hugely popular as charity fundraisers.”