The Government has not yet applied to the European Commission for an extension to the red diesel derogation, MBM has learned.

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The Government has not yet applied to the European Commission for an extension to the red diesel derogation, MBM has learned.

In March’s budget, the Government published its report on red diesel, and announced that it would seek an extension to the current derogation. At present, UK leisure boaters’ permission to use the low-tax fuel runs out on 31 December 2006.

Three months later, it transpires that the Treasury, led on this issue by John Healey MP (pictured), is still “gathering more information” and is still waiting for guidelines from the Commission on how to proceed with the application.

A source at the Treasury told MBM they expected to receive the guidelines some time in June, but time is clearly running out if the application is to be successful.