Leading trade association FTA (Freight Transport Association) has accused Chancellor Alastair Darling of being disingenuous in his Budget announcement on fuel duty. While fuel duty will indeed rise by a penny per litre (ppl) rather than the anticipated three pence on 1 April, he failed to mention the loss of the biofuel differential, which will add up to a further 1.5ppl to the price of diesel.
James Hookham, Policy Director for FTA, said:
"He may not have lied, but Mr Darling was somewhat economical with the truth when he stood up in the House of Commons today. The real cost to businesses could be as high as 2.5ppl, which could leave FTA members no better off and cause forecourt prices to push £1.30 a litre."
FTA found the anomaly during a forensic look at the Treasury Red Book, published just as the Chancellor retook his seat in the Commons chamber.
"We were prepared to give Mr Darling some credit for the decision he announced on fuel duty. What we’ve discovered on closer inspection, though, is that we’ve been sold a dud. Any cost saving the staggering of the fuel duty rise may have given the logistics sector has been all but swallowed by the loss of the biofuel differential."