The latest fuel duty rise will push many businesses already struggling with the economic downturn over the edge, according to the Freight Transport Association.
Insolvencies in the logistics sector have already shown a marked year-on-year increase and FTA fears that this steady flow of firms going out of business will become a deluge in 2009. And with the number of HGV drivers claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance already rising by an incredible 236 per cent in 2008, the sector is bracing itself for further job losses.
Chief executive Theo de Pencier said: “Today’s fuel duty increase is the latest in a shower of hammer blows dealt to the logistics sector by the government. What they are saying by their actions is that they don’t care about the more than two million people up and down the UK who work in this sector and keep the economy moving.”
And he warned: “The government has another bite of the cherry on 22nd April when the chancellor presents his budget. If they take that bite, they are as good as signing the death warrants for some businesses and putting yet more workers onto the dole queue. At a time when jobless figures are already sky-rocketing, the government needs to understand that such their actions will only add to them – and they will have been responsible.”