The Angling Trades Association has welcomed the news that boat anglers will no longer face a rise in the cost of running their vessels, following last week’s Budget.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the Government had dropped plans to remove the entitlement to ‘red diesel’ for the use of recreational boats in both coastal and inland waters.

‘Red diesel’ is used for off-road purposes including agricultural machinery and by many in the marine sector and is subject to a much lower duty rate than standard road diesel (11.14 pence per litre compared with 57.95 pence per litre) – it is coloured red to distinguish it from normal or ‘white’ diesel.

Angling and boating bodies had objected to the proposed change, pointing out that the cost of fuel is one of the biggest determining factors in boat angling participation and if anglers were forced to use ‘white diesel’, the higher cost of running vessels could impact on the government’s National Angling Strategy and Sport England objectives to increase angling participation.

The Chancellor’s summary said: “Following consultation, the Government has decided to maintain the entitlement to use ‘red diesel’ beyond April 2022 for all commercial boat-operating industries including fishing.

“The Government has decided not to change the treatment of private pleasure craft in Great Britain, where they will continue to be able to use ‘red diesel’ and pay their fuel supplier the difference on the proportion they intend to use for propulsion.”

ATA chairman Andrew Race said: “This is good news for the tackle trade and for all of those who enjoy boat fishing, which – along with all other forms of angling – has seen a massive surge in interest recently as people continue to recognise the significant benefits that the sport has to offer.”

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