The Freight Transport Association says that the arrival of the $100 barrel of oil signals yet another reason why the Government must abandon its plan to increase fuel duty by 2p per litre from 1 April.
FTA, which represents operators of over 220,000 lorries – half the national fleet – says that the April increase should be scrapped, the 2p per litre duty increase of last October should be reversed and a new system of fuel duty should be introduced which de-couples the way in which fuel is taxed on commercial vehicles from private cars.
FTA Director of External Affairs Geoff Dossetter said, 'Diesel constitutes a third of the operating costs of a lorry and the price of that diesel continues to rise. Virtually everything which we use or consume every day is the product of a lorry journey, so the increased price of diesel impacts on every man, woman and child in the UK.
'The Government is already taking enormous taxes from fuel, which increase every time the price of oil goes up, creating a windfall income for the Exchequer.
'The time is long overdue when the importance of commercial vehicle operations to the economy is properly recognised and the tax system changed. The $100 barrel is not only bad news for the transport industry, it is bad news for all of us.'
FTA will be meeting with the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the beginning of February.
The Freight Transport Association represents the interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. FTA members operate over 220,000 goods vehicles – almost half the UK fleet. In addition they consign over 90 per cent of the freight moved by rail and over 70 per cent of sea and air freight. FTA's website can be found at www.fta.co.uk