Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A greater threat ?

We have been protesting about the governments failure to maintain investment in our waterways. The infrastructure needs regular maintenance to keep the system open. Canals and rivers could become un navigable which would be a disgrace after all the effort made to restore navigation. The waterways provide a wonderful natural environment for relaxation and holidays.

But it seems that there is an even greater threat to the well-being of our navigations. In 'the small print' of the last budget by Mr. Brown was the confirmation that all diesel fuel be taxed at the same rate. This means that our use of 'pink diesel' with a low duty can no longer be used for boat engines. It is not so much the cost but availability which will drastically slow down boat movements. There is very little profit in keeping it at boatyards or marinas. For some unknown reason even hire boat companies will not be able to use the 'pink'. They may decide not to supply the high taxed diesel to passing boaters by just storing enough for themselves.

However the de-regulation will not come into force until 1st. November 2008, so we will at least have this year and next to continue enjoying our life on the waterways.


Adam said...

The budget didn't say that all diesel would be taxed at the same rate. All it said was that the end of derogation would end on November 1 2008.

As far as the tax rate is concerned, the government hasn't yet made up its mind. To comply with the EU decision, it would only have to put on tax of about 20p per litre, as opposed to the 48p on road fuel. If I were you, I'd be lobbying now to try to persuade ministers that boaters shouldn't be charged the same tax as car drivers.

Chas and Ann said...

Thanks Adam, I stand corrected. The info came from 'Narrowboat World'. I admit that did not say the maximum tax will be applied. We wait and see. Another letter to my MP then !

Anil P said...

Couldn't agree more. Waterways do provide an unique experience when exploring the natural environs.

What's it like to prepare a boat for such journeys as in the nitty gritty that goes into each day spent preparing for 'waterway' journeys?