Farmer calls for changes to red diesel rules

Farmer calls for changes to red diesel rules

16 February 2012

Posted by Neil Brunskill

A farmer who was prosecuted for unauthorised use of red diesel has called for the laws governing the fuel to be changed.

John Thorne, from Hartland in North Devon, was hit with a £250 fine by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) after he used his tractor to mow the grass on his local football club's field, the BBC reports.

The organisation said this is not covered under red diesel usage rules, which restrict it to agricultural, horticultural and forestry purposes.

However, Mr Thorne has said this should be extended to allow red diesel to be used by community volunteers.

"The only way villages operate is with people helping out, otherwise the work doesn't get done," he said, adding: "Common sense says you should be able to use red diesel to do charitable work."

Recently, HMRC confirmed it would allow farmers to use the fuel in order to help clear roads of snow in extreme weather conditions.

NFU Mutual regulatory affairs adviser Ben Ellis said this is a good move, though he called for the temporary measure to be turned into a permanent change.

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