The Government unveiled their Budget plans today, with some good news for those whose livelihood is made out on the UK’s roads. Will fuel duty has been frozen, the 1% increase that was originally planned for September now scrapped, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has voiced its disappointment that it won’t be reduced.
The fuel duty freeze, amongst others, is aimed at “those who want to work and get on” says Chancellor George Osborne. The Road Haulage Association (RHA) have praised his decision, but are still disappointed that UK hauliers pay the highest levels of fuel duty in Europe. “This is another massive achievement for the road haulage industry and the FairFuelUK campaign, which the RHA co-founded three years ago. We have transformed the debate around fuel taxes,” said RHA Chief Executive Geoff Dunning.
James Hookham, FTA’s Managing Director of Policy and Communications said: “While we are relieved that the immediate danger has passed, in order to get the UK back on the road to economic recovery it is vital that we have a cut in fuel duty and a long-term strategy to prevent future rises and uncertainty. The Chancellor has once again squandered an opportunity to support UK industry, jobs and economic recovery, by failing to reduce fuel duty rates.”
In addition to the fuel duty freeze, the Chancellor cut Corporation tax from 21% to 20%, giving small businesses the allowance to earn £2,000 before paying National Insurance contributions, something Mr Osborne described as “taking tax off jobs”.
It’s clear that the austerity period will be continuing for a little longer, but hauliers and other delivery services have been given a small measure of breathing space.