February’s car registration figures were released as the SMMT calls on the Chancellor to use next week’s Budget to announce bold new measures to make new-tech zero emission-capable cars, including plug-in hybrids, more affordable for mass-market buyers. In 2020, manufacturers will bring more than 23 new battery-electric and ten plug-in hybrid electric cars to the UK to add to the more than 65 already on sale, but take-up of these new models depends on affordability and the provision of adequate charging infrastructure.
While the consumer pre-coverage of the Autumn Statement focused on government’s decision to ban upfront residential fees letting, in fact Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond revealed something of his past as a transport secretary by announcing a series of investments in transport.
At the top of the list, £23 billion to be spent on innovation and infrastructure over five years. The chancellor also announced £2 billion per year by 2020 for research and development funding. And £1.1 billion extra will be spent on English local transport networks. £220 million aims to reduce traffic pinch points. All are likely to support the development both the automotive manufacturing and fleet businesses the tyre industry relies on for growth.
British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt. Hon George Osborne MP’s 2016 budget lowers tax rates for small businesses, however large businesses face stamp duty and other increases. The surprise announcement of government-backed “Lifetime ISAs” is designed to help everyone save more for the future. But, at the same time as this, larger personal tax allowances were announced – suggesting people will have great levels of disposable income now as well.
James Stamp, head of transport at KPMG UK comments on the Chancellor’s commitment to invest in UK roads. He said:
“In the last budget, the Government announced a major road investment program worth £15billion. Today, the Chancellor announced that road tax (VED) income will be “ring fenced”. This provides some clarity about where funding for the ambitious road projects will be found.
In his Budget, the Chancellor said Insurance Premium Tax will be increased from 6 per cent to 9.5 per cent. The AA, for one, was unimpressed, describing the increase as “an outrageous hike thatcould well backfire by leading to an increase in uninsured drivers.” The IPT increase will mean an extra £17.50 on a £530 average Shoparound premium according to AA benchmark British Insurance Premium Index.