On Wednesday 21 March the Freight Transport Association will be providing information, analysis and reaction to the Chancellor’s Budget statement and its effect on industry’s transport operations.
FTA represents the transport interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. Its members operate over 220,000 goods vehicles – almost half the UK fleet. In addition they consign over 90 per cent of the freight moved by rail and over 70 per cent of sea and air freight.
FTA said in its pre-Budget submission to the Chancellor that he must:
- reduce fuel duty by 5 pence per litre (ppl) and cancel the 3ppl increase planned for August in order to stimulate consumer spending and business investment and re-ignite economic growth, with commensurate reductions in the duty rate for gas oil;
- commit to a fuel price stabilisation mechanism which automatically freezes fuel duty when world oil prices exceed $100 per barrel;
- reassure industry that plans for a UK vignette, or road user charge, will be ‘tax neutral’ by confirming that it will be offset for UK vehicles by a reduction in Vehicle Excise Duty;
- support the freight industry’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint by retaining the current used cooking oil fuel duty differential;
- stimulate investment in low-carbon fuels by fixing fuel duty rates for natural gas and biomethane relative to diesel rates for at least 5 years.
FTA’s support for a fuel duty cut reflects a broad consensus amongst motoring organisations and businesses moving freight which is being led by FairFuelUK. Recent independent analysis undertaken by the Centre for Economics and Business Research on behalf of FairFuelUK shows that even a modest reduction in fuel duty of 2.5ppl would help create 180,000 jobs without the Treasury losing any tax revenue in the 2012/13 financial year and would boost economic growth by 0.3 per cent.