FTA calls for budget fuel duty cut

In its pre-Budget submission to the Chancellor the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has urged Chancellor to go further than freezing fuel duty and to cut it by three pence per litre.

FTA has asked George Osborne who will deliver the 2014 Budget statement on 19 March, to maintain its commitment and consider the economic benefits that could be delivered by further development of the Government’s approach to fuel duty.  The Association stated that “by reducing road fuel duty it would ease cost pressure on domestic freight activity and stimulate economic growth.”

James Hookham, FTA managing director of Policy and Communications said: “The issue of high fuel prices has not gone away, and there are still constraints on growth and economic expansion.  The Chancellor would give a real boost to balancing the economy by reducing fuel duty be 3p per litre.  FTA’s research shows he would get his money back through higher tax receipts as trade improved and jobs increased.”

FTA welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement in the Autumn Statement that the fuel duty increase that was due to take effect on 1 September 2014, expected to be worth 1.61 pence per litre (ppl), was cancelled.  The continued involvement of the FTA continued with FairFuelUK has meant that the Association has been taken part in discussions with Ministers and officials on the issue of fuel duty, and reiterated the objective to help deliver a boost to the UK economy through a revised approach to fuel duty.

In addition to the call for fuel duty cuts, FTA has insisted that the Chancellor must re-instate the duty differential for used cooking oil as a bio-fuel in commercial vehicles.

Several freight and logistic businesses have already invested heavily in processing and re-fuelling infrastructure to support collection of used cooking oil from restaurants and other business premises and its conversion to a low-carbon fuel to help meet the UK’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Hookham added: “With the renewed focus on changes in the climate and the need to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, FTA calls on the Chancellor to recognise the small but measurable contribution that the recycling of used cooking oil can make by converting it into bio-diesel.  Reinstating a lower duty rate will make this process financially, as well as environmentally sustainable.”

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