Budget 2020: Red diesel rebate axe will hurt construction
It has been rumoured that the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak is planning to scrap the lower rate of fuel duty in his first budget statement. The plans are believed to be part of Government efforts to encourage a switch to greener alternatives.
Under these new plans, the special arrangement for red diesel would be scrapped and the industry could be forced to pay between £280 - £490 million more a year.
The National Federation of Builders (NFB) has been an advocate for a move to greener solutions, however, viable alternatives must be in place first in order to minimise the impact on the industry and more importantly industry must be consulted when implementing changes of this magnitude.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB commented “The proposed changes to red diesel pricing could have an adverse effect on many of our members. The industry has already faced a prolonged period of uncertainty due to Brexit and going forward the Government must ensure it’s equipping the industry for success, not failure.”
“We are also keeping close links to companies such as JCB and Caterpillar, so we can help members transition to electric vehicles. However, it’s also important to recognise that many plant machinery manufacturers are ahead of the curve on responding to the climate emergency and some have cut the emissions in their diesel vehicles by more than 97%.”