The Freight Transport Association and its partners in the FairFuel UK campaign has reacted positively after the Government cancelled a planned increase in fuel duty in todays Budget.
The one penny above inflation price hike could have left industry facing an additional annual bill of up to £500m, heightening the misery being felt by transport businesses as they desperately try to stay solvent amid rapidly rising fuel costs and weak levels of business activity. The reduction in fuel duty levels, and delay in future increases until next year; coupled to the freezing of lorry Vehicle Excise Duty will give hard pressed vehicle operators some much needed breathing space.
Simon Chapman, FTA’s Chief Economist, said, ‘This is a key win for FTA and will result in a fairer fuel deal for its members. Our primary goal coming into this Budget was to see the fuel duty rise in April scrapped and for a fairer deal for our members and all road users in difficult trading conditions. Clearly, Mr Osborne has listened to our concerns and recognises that for economic growth to be sustained, then freight transport is needed to keep shop shelves filled and businesses supplied.
‘By cutting fuel duty by 1 penny per litre, the Chancellor has effectively saved industry £125m this year. FTA fought hard for future fuel duty rises to be set on a budget-by-budget basis with decisions reflecting world oil prices. His plans to cancel the fuel duty escalator while oil prices are above $75 heeds our call to stabilise the impact of volatile prices and takes future uncertainty out of a key component of our members’ costs.’