Lockhart – “Tractor Run Win, but a missed opportunity for the Chancellor”

DUP Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has said the Chancellor’s spring statement was a missed opportunity to pause the removal of the red diesel rebate on 1st April 2022.

By Carla Lockhart MP

Upper Bann

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She welcomed clarification that the use of red diesel would remain eligible at agricultural shows, ploughing matches, charity tractor runs as well as for clearing show and cutting hedges.

Carla Lockhart said,

“The Treasury has now said that the Red Diesel changes will not apply to Tractor Runs and people participating in such fundraisers will be able to use red diesel. This was confirmed in writing by Exchequer Secretary Helen Whately. If this is accurate, this is good news but still a no help to our construction, haulage, waste and quarry sector.

HMT are tone deaf on this issue and have treated these industries appallingly with no engagement and dismissal of their concerns. If HMT don’t step back from this proposed change it will see major job losses, a slump in construction, increased food prices and transport costs and ultimately the closure of businesses. It is no exaggeration to say that the cost in terms of business longevity and sustainability will be extremely high.

I have consistently challenged the Government on this policy highlighting that it is the right policy but the wrong time. No greener alternatives exist on the market and emissions will be the same whether the vehicle is run on red or white diesel. The Government is silent when questioned on claims that it will improve air quality and help achieve Net Zero, because they know that this is not the case.

Over the next week we will continue to press for a commonsense approach to this issue. We are asking for 5 years to allow alternatives to make their way into the market. If the UK Government are serious about levelling up and improving infrastructure then they need to support out local companies not penalise them financially with this tax grab."

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