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DfT fee increases: another nail in transport’s coffin

Companies in the transport sector face another nail in the coffin with the inflation-busting fee hikes announced today by the Department for Transport's (DfT) executive agencies, says leading trade body the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

The increases, which in Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) fees alone is an eye-watering nine per cent, come less than a week before a planned rise in fuel duty of 1.84 pence per litre. Taken as a whole, they could not only cost the transport sector financially, but in terms of jobs too.

Jo Tanner of FTA, which last week launched its Every Penny Counts campaign calling for a moratorium on these increases, said:

“Those working within the transport sector are already bearing the brunt of the recession. Now the Government, which says it wants to support British industry, is kicking us while we're down by imposing these fee increases and duty hikes. Surely they should be working with us to safeguard jobs in the very industry that keeps UK plc moving?”

The need for these extreme increases in agency fees has raised questions about the DfT's oversight of its executive agencies.

Jo Tanner continued:

“Operating costs in VOSA alone have spiralled from £49 million in 2003/4 to £71 million in 2007/8. The Department for Transport is under a duty to keep costs and operations under review, something which, in this case, seems palpably absent. Industry is now having to pay for DfT sleeping on the job and that's just not good enough. These rises are putting jobs at risk and putting another nail in the logistics sector's coffin. The blame for that lies at the Government's door.”

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