FTA presses chancellor on fuel duty freeze

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The Freight Transport Association has called on chancellor George Osborne to confirm his commitment to freeze fuel duty until 2015 when he delivers his Autumn statement on 5th December.

Chief executive Theo de Pencier  said: “While we appreciate the difficult trading and fiscal conditions that persist, and the constraints which these impose, we have written to the Chancellor urging him to confirm his commitment to freeze fuel duty until 2015. We believe that such a step would provide just the kind of stability needed to give businesses the confidence to invest in the future – but he can go even further.”

Osborne told the Tory party conference in September that he wanted to freeze fuel duty for the rest of this Parliament, but the association is concerned that there was a significant caveat – “provided we can find the savings to pay for it”.

The association would like Osborne to go further and cut the price of fuel by 3ppl. It points out that two studies – the first by the Centre for Economics and Business Research and the second (on the Treasury’s recommendation) by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research – have shown that a change of approach could deliver significant benefits including creating jobs, boosting GDP, and in some circumstances, delivering a net increase in tax revenues.

The modelling shows the effects to be optimised at a reduction of 3ppl – this is the amount by which FTA has urged the chancellor to reduce fuel duty.

The government is introducing the HGV Road User Levy from April 2014, and the FTA said it was vital for VED rates for heavy goods vehicles to be set at levels which ensured no additional costs would apply to UK operators once the Levy is introduced.

De Pencier said: “When the chancellor delivers his Autumn statement on 5 December, he must take the steps needed to ease the burden of fuel duty and help hard working families and the countless businesses that rely on road transport to deliver their goods and services.”


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