The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is warning the Chancellor that failing to freeze or cut fuel duty in tomorrow’s Budget could sabotage the country’s economic growth.
The Association, which has 14,700 members in the logistics industry, says falling fuel prices have been a major factor in the country’s recovery. But high taxes mean transport operators haven’t benefited, with only a 13% cut in prices at the pump despite a 43% drop in world oil prices.
FTA Chief Executive David Wells last week wrote to George Osborne urging him not to renege on previous promises to hold current levels until September. And he stressed that any rise would force businesses to cut back on investment, training, efficiency improvements and modernisation.
He said: “Cash flow pressures will cause many businesses to implement cuts if the Chancellor raises fuel duty, and that would be detrimental not only to the businesses themselves but also to the economic growth of the country as a whole.”
As well as cutting fuel duty, FTA is calling on the Government to announce funding for driver training to alleviate the driver shortage crisis in the freight industry and more investment in roads so that local authorities can deliver much-needed maintenance programmes.