Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chancellor Advised on Logistics Budget by Road Haulage and Freight Forwarding Concerns

Clear Policies Designed to Support Industry Required
Shipping News Feature

UK – With Budget Day tomorrow the world and his wife are keen to tell the Chancellor what they hope or expect and in the logistics sector many are keen to have their say. The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has urged Mr Osborne to consider several key points which it says are critical both to the future of the UK road freight industry, and to the future prosperity of the rest of the United Kingdom and British freight forwarding agents have also had their standpoint put forward very clearly by their representative Association.

Firstly of course the RHA is not a lone voice in speaking out against any further increase in diesel duty during the life of the current Parliament. It goes on however to insist that not enough is being done to combat duty fraud in all its forms which undermines legitimate road hauliers. The RHA also harks back to its long established call for major companies to be bound by law to pay smaller sub contractors more promptly through public sector procurement and the creation of a new reporting requirement in large companies’ annual report and accounts.

The RHA is also very keen to ensure there is encouragement for new technology fuels with a clear, long-term, SME-friendly Treasury policy on methane (natural gas and bio-methane) as an HGV fuel and also other viable alternatives. The Association’s views have been made very clear in a submission made directly to the Chancellor and which comprehensively puts the case for the industry’s needs.

Meanwhile the British International Freight Association (BIFA) has said its members are keen to see positive announcements on such things as transport infrastructure spending and business tax reform as well as the obvious fuel duty issue.

On fuel prices, Peter Quantrill, BIFA Director General said that the association’s members want long term certainty, rather than incremental postponements, and would love to see the Government get serious on fuel duty, not with just another postponement, but an outright cut, whilst the problems caused by congestion also remain a major issue for BIFA members. He said:

“We would still like to see the introduction of an essential user rebate and some form of fuel duty stabilisation mechanism. We also hope to see some positive announcements about investment in transport infrastructure, not just to help kick start economic growth, but also to alleviate congestion which is evident across all transport modes and causes major problems to our members’ management of customer supply chains.

“BIFA always urges those in power, not to overlook the important role of freight transport and international trade in a country’s economic success. Our members are the ‘glue’ which holds international trade together, and they deserve recognition of this fact with some positive initiatives in this week’s budget, which really helps businesses be confident in the economy going forward.”