Monday, March 6, 2017

UK Freight Representatives Call for Cut on Diesel Tax to Protect Road Haulage Operators

FTA Says Upcoming UK Budget Should Redress High Costs and Protect Economic Growth
Shipping News Feature
UK – The Freight Transport Association (FTA), the UK’s largest membership association representing the country’s freight and logistics industry, is calling on Chancellor Philip Hammond MP to cut fuel duty in this week’s Budget to ensure that Britain’s companies can continue to trade cost effectively in a new, post-Brexit environment. Fuel duty in the country currently represents 61.4% of the cost of a litre of bulk diesel (excluding VAT), and FTA estimates that even a 1p rise in fuel duty in the upcoming Budget would have a significant impact on road haulage outfits operating costs. James Hookham, FTA’s Deputy Chief Executive, said:

”Fuel costs now represent a third of the total cost of the operation of an articulated lorry and the annual fuel bill for a 44 tonne vehicle has risen by 39% since January 2007. Additional increases in fuel costs would need to be passed on to customers by UK operators, which could mean the death knell for new trading partnerships and continued growth for the UK at a time, pre-Brexit, when the country’s trade needs as much stimulus as possible.

”In the Autumn Statement last November, the Chancellor announced a freeze on fuel duty for 2017/18, and we hope that, at the very least, he stands by this decision. However, if the Government is serious about boosting UK trade, FTA would urge them to go further and reduce fuel duty by 3p per litre in this week’s Budget. Our estimates show that this would deliver around £1,400 annual savings on the running cost of a 44 tonne truck which would make UK freight and logistics operators increasingly competitive in a global trading market.

”The UK currently levies the highest fuel duty in the European Union and this duty needs to fall by 21p per litre to achieve parity with the average duty rate in the rest of the EU. At a time of economic volatility and uncertainty around the effects of Brexit, we call on the Government to cut fuel duty in Wednesday’s Budget to ensure that the UK’s businesses can keep trading efficiently with our international partners.”

Meanwhile FairFuel UK installed a weblink as long ago as September 2016 to enable supporters to lobby their MP’s over what they too consider punitive rates of duty and tax on fuel. The organisation says it represents the interests of Britain’s 37 million drivers, who fetch in revenues of £50 billion annually, many of whom would wish to see the cost of motoring cut.