The Freight Transport Association says that the Chancellor's decision to defer the 2p per litre increase in fuel duty until 1 October is very welcome, bearing in mind this week's increase in the price of oil to $110 per barrel and forecasts that it will rise further. However, FTA says that any duty increase should have been put off for at least a year whilst the market remains so turbulent.
FTA says that a six month deferment will save industry some £140 million. However, since January 2007 the transport industry has suffered fuel price increases of £2.5 billion as the bulk price of diesel has increased from 74p per litre to the current 92p per litre.
FTA Director of External Affairs said, 'The high price of fuel impacts on not just the transport industry but the whole of UK industry as world prices go through the roof. In turn these increased prices must be passed to consumers. For the Chancellor to have added to this pain by seeking further taxation would have been unthinkable.
'But as the price of oil continues to rise, he must continue to keep his foot off the fuel duty accelerator – the proposed half pence per litre above inflation increase from 2010 can be no more than speculative. FTA will seek a further deferment after 1 October.'
FTA continues to call for a decoupling of the way fuel is taxed on commercial vehicles from cars.