The Chancellor of the Exchequer has provided reassurance to freight operators by confirming that fuel duties will remain frozen for the remainder of this Parliament, despite big falls in oil prices, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) said today.
Responding to the Chancellor’s announcement, Karen Dee, FTA’s Director of Policy said:
“Falling global oil prices have delivered significant reductions in fuel prices recently. While this has provided some welcome relief to operators struggling to keep goods moving in the busy Christmas period, it has also put prices close to the point at which fuel duty increases would be triggered. The Chancellor should be congratulated for resisting the temptation to raise some additional revenue at the expense of the freight industry and other road users.”
FTA is a key funder and supporter of FairFuelUK, which campaigns for fuel duties to be reduced. As a result of the campaign, fuel duty is now at a far lower rate than it would have been, saving the logistics sector £4.44 billion in extra duty had increases been introduced.
The Chancellor today announced that fuel duty would remain frozen at current levels and that the price-based trigger point for changes to both the supplementary charge and fuel duty, set by the Fair Fuel Stabiliser in 2011, would be abolished.
Karen Dee continued:
“We are, however, disappointed that the Chancellor did not go further and cut fuel duties. Independent research has demonstrated that this could deliver a further boost to the UK economy and we will continue our efforts to persuade Government to take action.”
FTA’s Autumn Statement 2014 submission had also highlighted the skills shortage in the logistics sector, and in particular the lack of funding to support vocational training to improve recruitment and skill levels in the industry.
Karen Dee added:
“The logistics industry is suffering a chronic shortage of drivers, which is adding further pressure at the busiest time of year. But this problem will extend beyond Christmas and it is essential that Government works with the industry to encourage skills development within the sector and to identify innovative ways to incentivise the uptake of vocational training.”
The Fair Fuel Stabiliser introduced by Government in 2011 established a trigger point for future fuel duty increases. It would have meant that if world oil prices were to reach £45 a barrel then fuel duty would increase by RPI inflation plus a penny. To date, this has been assessed annually on the first working day in February and had the average price per barrel reached the trigger point (in the previous three months and the week before the assessment) fuel duty would have been increased accordingly.
For further information or a copy of FTA’s submission to the Chancellor of the Exchequer ahead of his Autumn Statement, please contact the FTA press office on 01892 552255, 07818 450425, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Freight Transport Association represents the transport interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. FTA members operate over 220,000 goods vehicles – almost half the UK fleet. In addition they consign over 90 per cent of the freight moved by rail and over 70 per cent of sea and air freight.