The Freight Transport Association has called on Chancellor George Osborne to freeze fuel duty throughout 2012.
In a last minute move to drive home the message ahead of the Autumn Statement, the FTA warned: “If the Chancellor goes ahead with the fuel duty rise planned for January it will land industry with an annual bill of £325m. This would lead to more redundancies, and more businesses pushed into financial difficulties, further damaging the economy.
Chief economist Simon Chapman pointed out that the price of diesel had risen by over 13ppl (13.9 per cent) in the last year, representing an additional cost to the road freight operating industry of £1.4bn.
“The planned January rise would be an ill-judged triumph of short term gain over long term pain. Industry will have no option but to look to 2012 as a further year of retrenchment. That means scaling back on capital investment, putting further downward pressure on real-term pay levels and laying staff off where business volumes are simply not there.”