Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has welcomed the decision by the UK Chancellor to retain the duty relief on red diesel used for agricultural vehicles.
Minister Poots said: “I wrote to The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP earlier in March to impress upon him the difficulties that any reduction of the duty rate for diesel used for agricultural vehicles would have on Northern Ireland’s farming sector.
"My Department estimates that it could have cost Northern Ireland famers up to £50 million per annum. The industry is already under severe financial pressure, with Total Income from Farming falling by 25% to £290 million in 2019. Levying additional costs of this magnitude, on top of the uncertainties surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU and the current COVID-19 pandemic, would have been an absolute body blow.
“Therefore, I welcome the Chancellor’s decision to retain this vital duty relief on red diesel used for agricultural vehicles – it helps protect the industry which is at the very heart of the excellent local food we produce in Northern Ireland. It is vital to our regional economy, supports tourism, and contributes to the sustainability of rural areas and the environment.”
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