FARMING bodies have welcomed the Budget announcement by Chancellor, Rishi Sunakto retain relief on red diesel.

NFU Cymru president, John Davies said: “The most significant decision for farmer’s here in Wales and across the UK, is the announcement to retain the fuel duty relief on red diesel.

"This is absolutely crucial, and we are pleased to see the Chancellor has acknowledged our concerns. Red diesel is the primary fuel used to run the majority of agricultural machinery, and it is incredibly important for the farm businesses that produce the nation’s high quality and affordable food.

“Changes to this duty could have virtually doubled fuel costs for farmers and, with no current alternative fuel for agricultural vehicles, this would have left farms immediately uncompetitive with many other countries who continue to provide lower fuel duty for their agricultural industries.

“This lower fuel duty on red diesel recognises its importance to farm businesses, their ability to produce food for the nation and the fact this machinery is mainly used off-road on farms."

The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) also welcomed the news.

It means the duty levied on red diesel will remain at 11.1p a litre, compared to 57.7p for standard fuel.

The NFU president also welcomed the Chancellor's announcement on broadband improvements.

“Rural broadband and connectivity are issues that have been impacting farms and rural communities for many years now," he said.

"I am pleased to see that the Chancellor has pledged the rollout of gigabit capable broadband to the hardest to reach areas. While I welcome this pledge, I sincerely hope that it will be the areas that struggle to receive any mobile or broadband coverage, that are given the access to the services they so desperately require to complete day-to-day tasks to run successful businesses.”