CPA urges chancellor not to scrap red diesel rebate


THE Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) has urged UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak to reconsider possible plans to scrap the subsidy on red diesel to users of plant machinery and off-road vehicles.

The trade body spoke out following media reports that such a measure could be announced in next week’s budget to encourage a switch to greener alternative fuel vehicles.

The CPA said that abolishing the red diesel rebate will have ‘significant financial implications’ for the construction sector as it will mean that users of diesel powered construction plant machinery will pay an extra 47 pence on every litre of diesel used.

CPA chief executive Kevin Minton has written directly to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, stating: “As a key sector within the wider construction industry, we are concerned about reported proposals in the forthcoming budget, to place restrictions on the use of red diesel in construction machines. The CPA set out our concerns in the government’s call for evidence on the use of red diesel back in 2018. It is disappointing to see such measures being discussed again.

“Restrictions on the use of red diesel in the construction sector would, unfortunately, have a profound impact for our members and the wider construction industry by raising costs and squeezing already tight profit margins. This in turn will limit scope for investment in new skills and new cleaner, greener technology – something the government is encouraging our members to do.

“Such proposals will only undermine this progress, adding greater uncertainty at a time when construction remains fragile, despite government plans to increase spending on infrastructure. We urge you to delay any consideration of this issue until a proper consultation can be carried out, and suitable amelioration measures identified. I look forward to discussing this issue further.”