The Freight Transport Association, with members operating some 220,000 goods vehicles – around half the national fleet – says that the Government must recognise the problems generated by the rocketing price of diesel and act to reduce the tax burden which is penalising UK industry. FTA says that the Government should reverse the recent 2p per litre increase in fuel duty and consider means of separating the way fuel is taxed on essential users such as commercial vehicles from the way fuel is taxed for use in private cars.
FTA says that bulk diesel prices have risen by 23 per cent over the last three years and that, mainly due to fuel prices, inflation is rising at 6.5 per cent in the road freight sector, as opposed to 2.5 per cent in the wider economy. For a heavy goods vehicle, fuel now accounts for 32 per cent of operating costs.
FTA Chief Executive Theo de Pencier said, 'With the $100 barrel in sight, there can be no doubt that fuel costs for industry, delivering the economy, will continue to increase. If you've got it then it has been in the back of a lorry and the price of operating that lorry is rising remorselessly. Those increased costs will ultimately impact on every UK consumer.
'The UK transport industry is the victim of excessive taxation, and the Government must move to correct this long-term problem as soon as possible. In the meantime, members of the Freight Transport Association totally reject calls to undertake direct action in the form of blockades or other on-the-road protests. FTA wishes to engage with Government in order to solve the present difficulties being experienced by some sectors of the transport industry. FTA members are all about delivering the goods – not preventing their delivery.'
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.
FTA's website can be found at www.fta.co.uk