Transport sector jobs could be at risk if plans to increase fuel duty and government agency fees go through, according to the Freight Transport Association.
The FTA is launching a postcard campaign, called Every Penny Counts, which calls for a temporary halt on both fuel duty increases and hikes in fees levied by the Department for Transport’s executive agencies.
FTA figures show that the planned 1.84 pence per litre increase in fuel duty, inflation-busting fee hikes and other discretionary levies will land businesses with an additional bill for £1,500 per truck.
FTA chief Theo de Pencier said: “A couple of pence here and there may not seem like much, but when you’re already working to the tightest of margins, every penny counts. Businesses are already struggling as a result of the recession, and these planned increases really kick the sector when it’s down.
“Laying off staff is always the last resort, but for some companies they’ve been given Hobson’s choice: pay the increases and risk having to sack your workforce, or don’t pay and see your fleet taken off the road. It’s a lose-lose situation.”
The logistics sector, which employs 2.3 million people, is faced with a nine per cent increase in fees levied by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, to test its vehicles.
“We are not asking for a bailout from the public purse. We’re simply asking for a moratorium on increases in fuel duty and discretionary fees from the Government. This is a far cheaper solution than having to deal with the fallout of mass redundancies in the logistics sector,” said de Pencier.