The Grounds Management Association (GMA) has written to the Government to request a change to the recently published Guidance on Changes to rebated fuels entitlement, which fails to be inclusive of all sports when citing exemptions to the new red diesel legislation.
In a letter to HMRC and HM Treasury, GMA Chief Executive, Geoff Webb reminds policymakers of the commitment made in the Reform of red diesel and other rebated fuels entitlement Policy paper published in November 2021, which made clear that there would not be a withdrawal of an entitlement to use red diesel in areas such as heating and sports.
"We are calling for wording within the guidance to be changed to replace the multiple references to "golf courses and driving ranges" with a more inclusive term that reflects the HMRC's original intention to maintain the rebate entitlement across the wider sporting community, says Geoff Webb.
"It is not acceptable to exempt only one sport when there are many other sports facilities with turf surfaces that rely on red diesel to fuel essential machinery and specialist vehicles to maintain grounds to a safe, accessible, and satisfactory standard."
"Grassroots, community, and professional clubs, as well as educational establishments will be hit hard with increased costs if this guidance does not get amended."
"The GMA remains fully supportive of the Government's net zero ambitions and understands the rationale behind pulling fiscal levers to deliver environmental goals. It is, however, crucial that policymakers are fair and avoid inadvertently imposing punitive taxes that will have an adverse effect on individuals, organisations, and communities."
The GMA will continue to engage with the Government on this matter and encourages others to write to local MPs to reiterate the points made in the association's letter.