Plowing fights and agricultural exhibitions can continue to run on red diesel!
TRACTORS taking part in plowing competitions and agricultural exhibitions can continue to use discounted red diesel to do so, the government has agreed
During HMRC’s ongoing crackdown on fuel discounts, the traditional agricultural use of red diesel had already been allowed to continue, but it had been widely reported that the tax authorities would no longer look kindly on its use for events perceived as recreational or non-essential to the business. of farming.
This caused an outcry in rural communities, with plowing matches and agricultural shows fearing for their future, as tractor drivers had to empty their red diesel tanks and use road fuel if they wanted to participate. It has also raised questions for the many farmers who use their farm tractors to help clear roads in bad weather.
But after much discussion among rural politicians, the issue has now been clarified via a question and answer in the Houses of Parliament.
Earlier this month, John McNally, SNP MP for Falkirk, posed a question asking the Chancellor of the Exchequer if it will be his policy to ‘review the Government’s changes to the Red Diesel Right of Use by the farmers, so that the farmers do not have to empty the tanks of the tractors to fill them with white diesel for a single day of plowing competition, and the next day to empty the tank of white diesel and fill it with red diesel ‘?
This week, Mr McNally got his answer from Helen Whately, the Conservative MP for Faversham and Mid Kent, who is currently Secretary of the Exchequer.
“Agricultural vehicles will be allowed to run on discount fuel after April 2022 for purposes related to agriculture, horticulture, forestry and fish farming. They will also be able to use discount fuel when driving. cutting shoulders and hedges that border a road, snow removal, sanding, and land clearing or flood management.
Read more: Charity income could suffer as HMRC bans use of red diesel for tractor road journeys
“Activities accepted as falling within the definition of agriculture, horticulture and forestry are defined in HMRC Excise Notice 75. As agricultural shows and plowing matches provide information and a education that benefits agricultural purposes, the government considers the performance or participation in such activities to be purposes relating to agriculture, for which the rebated fuel may be used in qualifying vehicles and machinery, and will update Excise Notice 75 accordingly. Rebated fuel may also be used to travel to where vehicles or machinery are to be used for such activities.”
Mr McNally’s colleague, MP Gordon Richard Thomson, had previously raised the issue with Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak in January and had raised the issue in the House of Commons during Trade Questions last month, getting a response “sympathetic” of the chef at the time. of the house of Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Welcoming the ‘change of heart’, Mr Thomson said: ‘This is great news for organizers and participants of plowing matches and other activities affected by the original decision, but in reality things are not should never have gotten to this stage as we have been here before in 2008 when the UK government was forced to back down in the face of a threat to agricultural shows using red diesel.
“It seems that no lessons were learned from that time and a lot of unnecessary worry was caused to event organizers which was entirely avoidable, not to mention the costs involved as the UK government now has to go back and clarify the regulations used by HMRC.
“It tells us a lot that the UK government has tried the same trick as it did over a decade ago and has been, once again, forced into a humiliating descent,” Mr Thomson said. “However, I am grateful to those constituents who raised this matter with me which meant I could go to battle on their behalf and I am delighted with this positive outcome, although I will await the finer details to come.