Abandon duty rise, says FTA

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The Freight Transport Association has told Exchequer Secretary Angela Eagle that she must abandon plans to increase fuel duty by 2 pence per litre from 1 October.
Since the end of January 2007 bulk diesel prices paid by hauliers have risen by over 5 pence per litre as world oil prices have soared from $60 per barrel to $76 per barrel – less than $2 shy of their all-time high. Fuel costs alone have raised annual operating costs for a 40 tonne artic by £2,300. With 30 per cent of HGV operating costs fuel related, industry is seeing its road transport costs spiralling at an annual rate of over 5 per cent from this cost element alone.
Chief economist Simon Chapman said: “The planned fuel duty increase of 2 pence per litre may have seemed reasonable to the Chancellor at the time of the Budget when oil prices were at $60 per barrel. However, the policy now looks out of touch bearing in mind recent fuel price changes. The Chancellor should announce a change of plan, recast his revenue budgets, and signal a freeze in fuel duty until 1 April 2008 at the earliest.”
Sales rise at Business Post
Business Post’s group revenues for the first quarter of the financial year increased by 13 per cent on the equivalent period last year.
In its Interim Management Statement for the period 1 April 2007 to 30 June 2007 it said its parcels contract with Federal Express terminated on 30 April 2007. Excluding the revenues from this contract, the underlying revenue increase was 18 per cent.
The parcels business was making progress in an increasingly competitive market. “As planned we have transferred one further franchise to corporate ownership since our preliminary results announcement in May, leaving 15 remaining franchise operations.
“UK Mail, continues to achieve strong growth. We continue to tender for and to win significant new contracts, and in June we announced that we had been awarded a new contract with Prudential plc. We now provide more than 400 organisations with downstream access mail services.
“Within Specialist Services our Courier business, UK Today, has started the process of redevelopment under its new management team, while our palletised goods delivery business, UK Pallets, is making good progress.”

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