The Freight Transport Association says that next Monday's (1 October) increase in fuel duty by 2p per litre will inevitably impact on the whole population. Almost everything the nation consumes every day of the year is the product of a lorry journey and the Government will now increase the cost of all of those lorry journeys.
From 1 October fuel duty on diesel increases to 50.35p per litre, the highest rate in Europe where the average level is just 22.7p per litre. The cost of oil itself on the world market is now over $79 per barrel and has increased by almost 14 per cent over the last month. The current price of a litre of bulk diesel is 79.68p per litre (excluding VAT) which is only just below the record levels seen in May 2006. World prices remain extremely volatile. The 2p per litre rise in fuel duty will increase the annual operating costs of one 44 tonne articulated lorry by £870 to £35,600.
Significantly the 2p per litre fuel duty increase takes the pump price of diesel to over £1 per litre – no doubt to be quickly followed by petrol.
FTA Director of External Affairs, Geoff Dossetter said, 'Fuel represents a third of the operating cost of many lorries and significant increases in fuel prices are bad news for transport and thus for consumers.
'It is very disappointing that, at a time of such turbulence in world oil prices, the Government has chosen to impose a further increase in costs for industry and motorists.
'Road transport costs constitute an ingredient in the price of almost everything we eat, drink and use every day and it is essential that we contain those costs as far as we are able.
'Even at this late stage the Government should recognise the extent of the problem and reconsider imposing this unnecessary increase in fuel duty.'
The Freight Transport Association represents the interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. FTA members operate over 200,000 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.