6 September 2010

MSP Welcomes Change Of Stance From HMRC On Red Diesel

Scottish National Party MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the change of policy from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on the use of tractors at agricultural shows in respect of red diesel.

Mr Stevenson had previously written to the then Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling in 2008 following concerns that a heavy-handed approach taken to shows in the North of England could spread to the North-east of Scotland.

Officials at the Wooler Show in Northumberland were left stunned when they were told by HMRC officials that farmers who volunteered to help set up the show using their tractors would be penalised for using red diesel. HMRC then suggested to the show that it should buy its own tractor for the 2-3 hours work which it would be required for each year.

Mr Stevenson received an assurance from HMRC that the policy would be reviewed. NFU Scotland and their counterparts in England and Wales have been working with HMRC on the new policy.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

"This is very good news and represents a welcome, common sense decision by the tax authorities.

“When I raised this matter back in 2008, HMRC has recognised that its activities at and around agricultural shows could have been seen as heavy handed and agreed that the advice given to go out and buy a tractor was disproportionate.

“The original advice from HMRC - that agricultural shows should consider buying a cheap second-hand tractor - was completely inappropriate. I am delighted that we have reached this sensible position."
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