Mounting pressure on HMT to postpone Red Diesel tax change - Lockhart

The DUP’s Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has been leading the charge in Westminster with regards to the proposed change in red diesel rebate for industries such as construction, haulage, waste and generator powered businesses. She had engaged cross party support for her campaign and has been supported by many of the leading industry federations.

By Carla Lockhart Candidate

Upper Bann

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1 April is the proposed date for the removal of the rebate. This will force businesses to use white diesel as opposed to red driving their costs through the roof. In turn, this will be passed on to the end user with increased food, construction and manufacturing costs. Additionally, it will impact the charity sector given that tractor runs will no longer be financially viable for farmers to participate in.

Speaking ahead of the proposed change Carla Lockhart said,

“I have been inundated with businesses contacting me concerning this change. Many concerned about their future viability given the financial impact this along with the many other rising costs will have. The frustration with this change in rebate is simple and industry representatives have said, it is the right policy but the wrong time, given that there are NO greener heavy goods/construction plant alternatives available on the market. Hydrogen options are currently being prototyped but will take some time before they are available to the industry.

One haulier has indicated the cost to his business carrying fresh refrigerated foods will increase in region of £90,000 per year.

Another quarrying business has said it will cost their business in the region or £400,000 per year.

This is simply a tax grab on the part of the Government given that they have presented no evidence as to their claim that it will improve air quality and help the Government achieve net-zero. Whether vehicles run on red or white the emissions are the same the only difference is the Government get additional taxes.

Lobbying of Treasury continues with a deluge of companies getting in touch directly with The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. The Government have got this wrong.

Today I along with DUP colleagues will deliver a letter to the Chancellor calling on him to draw back from this reckless tax grab. Without a common sense approach to this issue, we will see businesses cease to trade, a rise in cost of construction with less money available to Government to build roads, hospitals and schools.

The Chancellor in his Budget speech to the House last year stated; “that is what this Budget is about and that is what this Government are about. Infrastructure connects our country, drives productivity and levels up.” He is right, so why make such a key driver in our economy more expensive?”

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