FTA presses fuel duty message following Commons debate

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The Freight Transport Association has called on the government to overhaul its fuel duty policy, following the House of Commons debate yesterday which highlighted concerns over the impact of rising fuel prices.

FTA chief Theo de Pencier said: “The enthusiastic political support for our motion reflects emotions felt by businesses and motorists around the country with the high cost of filling a fuel tank a truly national concern and one that is inextricably linked to our economy’s health.

“Thanks to tremendous support for our campaign from industry, MPs and the public, the government has now heard first hand how high levels of fuel tax have not just hurt an industry beset by redundancies and insolvencies, but actually reduced the amount of revenue taken by the Treasury. 

[asset_ref id=”870″]  Theo de Pencier

During the four-hour debate in the House of Commons, Chloe Smith, the Economic Under Secretary to the Treasury, heard how high fuel prices have damaged businesses and communities, restricted economic growth, hurt motorists and stoked inflation and unemployment across the country.

Conservative MP Caroline Nokes spoke in the debate saying: “I met this morning with the Freight Transport Association who tell me that this (fuel price rise) has had a crippling effect on the logistics industry, whose business viability is determined by the price of fuel and for whom even the smallest rise makes a massive difference.”

Calls for substantive measures, including scrapping the fuel duty rises planned for 2012 and introducing a fuel duty stabiliser, were made from either side of the House and at the end of the debate the ‘ayes’ had it in a unanimous show of approval for the motion.

De Pencier said: “Clearly, the instinct to raise taxes to fill a massive budget deficit heaps more cost pressure on business and stymies economic growth and must be suppressed. We have achieved a new level of engagement with MPs on this issue, but government needs to act now to kickstart our economy; scrapping the fuel duty rises planned for 2012 would be an excellent start.”

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