The UK government has said it will freeze fuel duty for a ninth consecutive year, but the Freight Transport Association (FTA) argues that a cut in fuel duty is needed to boost the economy.
“The FTA, the only business group representing all of logistics, is thrilled Theresa May has chosen to freeze fuel duty for the ninth year, a move which will greatly benefit the millions of logistics businesses driving the UK economy forward,” the organisation said in a press release.
However, the group “also expresses disappointment that rates were not reduced to provide a further boost to the nation’s growth.”
Christopher Snelling, the FTA’s Head of UK Policy, notes that UK logistics companies already pay one of the highest rates of fuel duty in Europe, which, combined with a 13% price hike for diesel, would have “constituted an unbearable burden” had fuel duty increased.
“Many of our members operate large fleets of vehicles; an increase would have unfairly penalised the very industry which keeps Britain’s factories, retail outlets, schools, hospitals and homes stocked with the raw materials and goods they need to continue operating efficiently,” he said.
But, according to Snelling, a cut in fuel duties would have been more beneficial: “A 10p per litre cut would increase economic activity of nearly 1% in just one year, creating over a quarter of a million jobs. And even just a 3p per litre cut in fuel duty would still generate increased economic activity that would generate tax income to almost offset the cut in fuel duty.
He added: “The government would serve UK PLC better by cutting fuel to jump start spending and boost economic activity. We’ll continue campaigning for a reduction in rates and hope the government heeds our advice for the next budget.”