The Freight Transport Association says that the Chancellor's welcome decision to scrap the proposed 2p per litre rise in fuel duty from October must be only the first step in a major review of commercial vehicle taxation. The move will save UK industry £280 million per year.
FTA's Director of External Affairs, Geoff Dossetter said, 'The scrapping of the increase at a time of high world oil prices was inevitable. However, at 50p per litre, UK diesel duty for commercial vehicles is twice the EU average of just 25p per litre.
'The Government must now engage with the industry in order to find a practical means of bringing UK duty more in line with continental competitors. Failure to do so will only result in higher costs for UK industry and higher prices for UK consumers.
'Given that almost everything we consume every day is the product of a lorry journey, then higher fuel prices contribute to price rises for everything else we buy. The Government cannot do much about the world price of oil, but it can reduce UK duty to bring it closer in line with the rest of Europe.
'Today's announcement is very welcome. But with the price of oil having risen so sharply, the Government needs to re-think its overall strategy on diesel tax.'
The Freight Transport Association represents the transport 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