FTA in pre-budget fuel duty plea

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The Freight Transport Association has called again for a cut in fuel duty citing “a dramatic increase in the number of road freight companies going bust”.

The call comes ahead of chancellor Philip Hammond’s budget on Wednesday. There have been suggestions that Hammond could be planning to increase duty on diesel.

The FTA said official figures showed that in the three months up to September 2016, 32 UK road freight companies declared insolvency.  A year later, the figure had reached 59.

It wants a cut in fuel duty of at least 3p per litre of diesel, which would not only support the freight industry but provide a significant boost to the UK economy.

Christopher Snelling, head of National Policy, said: “Over the past six years, the number of operators declaring insolvency had been gradually falling.  This sudden rise is extremely worrying and needs addressing as a matter of urgency.”

Fuel price campaigners FairFuelUK said that more than 30,000 people have taken up its call to lobby chancellor Phillip Hammond and prime minister Theresa May ahead of the budget. It said that it is particularly incensed at rumours of a “punitive” budget for drivers. “Raising the duty or VED on diesel for example, as we hear you may indeed do, will hit the most vulnerable who have no other choice and simply can’t afford to upgrade their vehicles to newer models,” it said.

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