Gordon MP Richard Thomson has said he will continue to make the case for charity vintage tractor runs to be allowed to continue to use red diesel after he successfully made the case to the UK Treasury for ploughing matches to be exempted from new HMRC rules which come into effect next month.
Mr Thomson had written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer pointing out that ploughing matches were clearly an agricultural activity that allowed skills to be developed and knowledge passed on and asking for the current exemption which allows red diesel to be used to continue. The Treasury responded in a letter to Mr Thomson accepting his arguments and stating that Excise Duty Notice 75 would be amended accordingly.
Now, Mr Thomson has taken up the case of charity tractor runs, which raise huge sums for charities such as the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution each year and allow vintage enthusiasts to keep their machines in good running order.
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:
“While I very much welcomed the reversal of the UK Treasury’s position, which would have threatened the existence of ploughing matches and jeopardised snow clearing by farm tractors on public roads during winter, the case for the good work done by charity tractor runs raising money should not be overlooked.
“The amount of money the UK Treasury would make from pushing ahead with this change is surely minimal and the work involved in flushing fuel tanks to ensure red diesel is not used puts these events in jeopardy – quite apart from the huge sums which will be lost to good causes in rural communities as a result of these events not taking place.
“I have therefore written to the UK Treasury asking for this to be reconsidered and ensure that a sensible approach is taken by HMRC so that these popular events can continue.”