Published: 24 November 2017
The Chancellor Phillip Hammond has frozen fuel duty rates in the latest budget, which has disappointed haulage industry associations FTA and RHA who wanted a fuel duty cut.
The RHA’s Richard Burnett wants the chancellor to amend the budget and introduce a fuel duty rebate scheme for users of fuel which are essential, such as lorry drivers.
The chancellor froze Vehicle Excise Duty and Road User Levy rates for HGV’s from 1st April 2018, although the Vehicle Excise Duty rates for vans will rise in line with the Retail Price Index, which will affect couriers.
The government is planning to ask for evidence on updating the existing HGV Road User Levy this autumn. “The government will work with industry to update the Levy so that it rewards hauliers that plan their routes efficiently, to encourage the efficient use of roads and improve air quality.”
However, Vehicle Excide Duty for diesel cars that do not meet the latest standards will rise by one band. The proceeds will go towards a £220m Clean Air Fund for local areas with the highest concentration of air pollution.
With regards to alternative fuels the government plan to review the existing fuel duty rates for alternatives to diesel and petrol, before any decisions are made at the 2018 Budget. In the meantime, they will end the fuel duty escalator for LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas). The rate will be frozen in 2018-19, alongside the main fuel duty rate.
The FTA;s Christopher Snelling said: “At a time when British business is under extreme pressure to prove its credentials and reinforce existing trading relationships, Mr Hammond has missed an opportunity to cut these costs, and make the UK a more competitive place to do business.”
Richard Burnett said: “At a time of Brexit uncertainty, the Chancellor had the golden opportunity to make the production and distribution of UK goods more competitive.
“We implore the Chancellor to amend his budget and introduce a fuel duty rebate scheme for essential users of fuel – a system already adopted by 8 EU member states, including our nearest neighbours – The Republic of Ireland, Belgium and France.
“An Essential User Rebate of 10 pence per litre would enable our hauliers to gain advantage over their European counterparts and would considerably lessen the fiscal drain on our emergency services which are also in a financial stranglehold as a result of the high price of diesel.”
FairFuelUK seemed happier. In a statement FairFuelUK said: “Pleased that the chancellor has understood the debilitating effect of raising fuel duty on consumers, households, businesses and the broad economy. He knows that now is not the time for gesture politics and that’s why he’s listened to the everyday anxieties of FairFuelUK’s 1.5 million supporters and continued the duty freeze.”