Farmers have today been warned they could face fines if they grit snow-blocked roads using tractors powered by red diesel.
HM Revenue and Customs has issued guidance to the National Farmers' Union urging them not to use the reduced-tax fuel when gritting. The move has been criticised with protesters claiming it could stop farmers reaching neighbours stranded in the deep snow.
Under current rules they can only grit roads if using tractors powered by white diesel - the standard fully-taxed fuel for trucks, vans and cars. Farmers are entitled by HMRC to use red diesel in their tractors on their own land or on public roads to clear routes of snow to allow feed deliveries or milk collections. But if intending to spread grit on these cleared roads as a preventative measure, they must use white diesel, meaning farmers must drain tractor tanks of the red fuel.
Just where do these ARSEHOLES get off. Farmers are working all the hours God sends in some areas to help stranded drivers. And H.M.R.C. are getting their knickers in a twist over some duty due on red diesel? After the money the banks have been handed?
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE JOKING!