Red diesel break for winter announced

Agricultural businesses are being allowed to use reduced tax diesel to beat the weather this winter, say HMRC.

HM Revenue and Customs has relaxed the rules governing the usage of red diesel to allow farmers to help grit and clear snow from public roads.

Red diesel is used in registered agricultural or construction vehicles and carries a reduced tax levy.

Farmers have used the fuel for other public usages such as providing access to schools, hospitals and remote dwellings cut off by ice and snow.

"The recognition of the vital work that farmers undertake for local communities in cold weather is a positive step" said Ben Ellis, NFU regulatory affairs adviser.

"We are pleased that HMRC have taken a sensible approach on this matter - some areas are already receiving the first snowfall this winter while other areas are preparing for what looks to be a cold few weeks ahead."

"We are currently awaiting the results of a HMRC consultation on a permanent relaxation on the rules for gritting, which the NFU is strongly in favour of."

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