Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Freight and Road Haulage Groups Celebrate Chancellors Autumn Statement

Osborne Listens to the Powerful Campaign Voice of the Fair Fuel Lobby
Shipping News Feature

UK – A victory came today for FairFuel UK, the Freight Transport Association (FTA), and the Road Haulage Association (RHA) as Chancellor George Osborne announced in his Autumn Statement that the Government will be cancelling the 3 pence per litre increase in fuel duty that was planned for January 1st 2013. The Chancellor also said that the Government will defer the 2013/14 increase from April 1st 2013 to September 1st 2013. RHA Chief Executive Geoff Dunning said:

“The Chancellor’s announcement that he intends to cancel the fuel duty rise that was planned for January comes as a welcome surprise. However, the fact remains that for many hauliers, this latest move will only be seen as a delaying tactic. UK hauliers are tremendously resilient. What other sector of UK industry can survive on profit margins of, in some cases, less than 1%? Despite this ours is the industry on which the rest of the economy is almost entirely reliant.

“We deliver the raw products to the processing plants, we put the bread on the shelves of the supermarkets and we deliver the parts needed by the manufacturing industries. In effect, we deliver daily life. That is why a fuel duty cut is so essential. It will free-up personal finances that can be used to give the economy as a whole the shot in the arm it so desperately needs.

“The RHA has commissioned research into a long-term, workable solution that demonstrates how a 3p per litre cut in fuel duty will create a net gain of 70,000 jobs and a GDP [gross domestic product] growth of 0.2%. We know what the problems are and we have a workable solution. But it needs to be put into practice now”.

In October FairFuel UK's representative, motoring journalist Quentin Willson, delivered a copy of the report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) commissioned by the RHA to the Government and in a recent blog post, Willson pointed out that FairFuelUK has worked tirelessly to convince MPs and Ministers that the 3p rise would be enormously damaging to the economic recovery. He said that to their credit the Treasury and the Chancellor have engaged constructively and have made the right decision, going on to state that the cancellation of the 3p rise completely is a welcome surprise as (he feels) it would have cost 35,000 jobs and hit growth adding that, despite the ‘Fantastic News’, the fight for fairer fuel pricing goes on for the sake of hard pressed businesses, the public and to stimulate growth in the economy

Elsewhere in the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced that there will be an extra £1 billion investment in upgrading key areas in the UK’s road network to ensure that it is fit for future transportation needs. These new schemes includes upgrading crucial sections of the A1, an investment of £378 million in order to bring the route from London to Newcastle up to motorway standard, £157 million to link the A5 with the M1, dualling the A30 in Cornwall, and investing £150 million upgrading sections of the M25.