Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fuel Hike Will Damage Britains Freight Industry

Now BIFA Adds Its Voice to Protest
Shipping News Feature

UK – There is complete agreement amongst the country’s freight, shipping and haulage interests that the rapidly escalating cost of diesel which fuels Britain’s trucks is having a detrimental effect on domestic and international trade. Our last article attracted numerous comments showing the strength of feeling over the matter. Now the British International Freight Association (BIFA) has added its voice to a protest which has united all sectors of the industry.

BIFA refer to the governments next planned phase to increase duty on fuel, the 10th since March 2007, as ‘a sour April Fool’s joke’ with Director General Peter Quantrill saying:

“BIFA members suffering because of ever-rising fuel costs, and duty increases, leaves me wondering whether those in Government really understand and value the essential role of the freight forwarding industry. I appreciate that the world oil price is high, but Whitehall’s take is even higher. According to the Fair Fuel UK Campaign while the average EU duty on fuel is 31.15%, our members face Whitehall’s take of 58%. This means that our members are paying almost double the duty that European freight forwarders face.

“There is still time to reverse this further handicap to running competitive freight services in this country. Many of our members are paying over 130p per litre for diesel. They are at the heart of international trade, exporting goods from the UK, often by road services, and bringing foreign goods to the UK, again often by road services, as well as positioning freight to air and seaports.

“We know these are difficult times for the British economy but this draconian duty rise, which will have to be passed along the supply chain to the end consumer, coming as VAT rises to 20%, inflation takes off and job worries rise, can only hurt our fragile recovery. The government must abandon this rise and put in place a fuel price stabiliser to bring some balance to the issue and enable our members to better manage fuel costs and remain competitive internationally.”

Hauliers, freight forwarders and the like who wish the Government to address the matter by way of a fuel stabiliser or similar method of intervention are encouraged by all the country’s major trade associations, BIFA, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and the Freight Transport Association (FTA)to sign up to the Fair Fuel UK petition HERE.