Red diesel tax entitlement to be removed

Published: Thursday, 12 March 2020

IN ALL the goodies given out by the chancellor in his Spring Budget there was one not so good—for boaters.

For Chancellor Rishi Sunak plans to review the current use of the lower tax on red diesel, including that for recreational boats.

A view to remove entitlement

The government is set to consult with red diesel users to determine whether continued access to the fuel is justifiable, with a view to remove the entitlement to red diesel use, with the exception for agricultural, rail and non-commercial heating purposes.

Though  commercial boats on open waters, including ferries and fishing boats, will remain entitled to the Marine Voyages Relief, pleasure boats will have to pay any increase should the entitlement to use red diesel be revoked.

The reason given by the chancellor is to 'incentivise businesses to improve energy efficiency and to investigate greener alternatives where possible'.

Royal Yachting Association

However the Royal Yachting Association  believes that while red diesel remains the primary and often only fuel available at the waterside it should continue to be available to recreational boaters in the UK for the purpose of propelling a private recreational vessel.

HMRC have confirmed there will be a consultation in the spring and the RYA will be working with other significant stakeholders to make a strong representation on behalf of recreational boaters.  Although details of the consultation have yet to be set out, the RYA remains fully engaged with the debate surrounding the continued availability of diesel for private recreational craft at the waterside.