As part of a logistics dependent industry, hire and rental businesses welcome the measures to reduce fuel costs announced in the Budget today.
The combination of a cut in fuel duty by 1p per litre from 6pm tonight; the delay until 2012 in applying the inflation rise and the scrapping of the annual above inflation fuel duty escalator until 2015 will all help hire businesses to control costs.
There are several other aspects of today’s announcement on which we would wish to comment at this early stage.
1. The prolonged slowdown in growth prospects is deeply worrying with a recasting of the projected growth for 2011 down from 2.1% to 1.7%
2. Inflation pressures are continuing to impact on business costs and the ability of consumers to make purchases of goods and service
3. We support the freezing of road tax for HGVs
4. The three-year freeze on new regulations for businesses employing fewer than ten people is very welcome news
5.40,000 new apprenticeships for out of work young people will help alleviate the damaging impact of joblessness, while ensuring that the valuable training gained through apprenticeships will be in place to support the national recovery
6. £100m for repairing potholes in England will be good news for our members, as the hire industry is a key enabler of construction and maintenance activity
7. We are disappointed that Ministers have again failed to harmonise current capital allowance rules which disadvantage companies hiring out plant and equipment.
In summary, Graham Arundell, HAE Managing Director, said; "This Budget was always going to be challenging following on from the tough spending review last year. We hope that businesses and consumers alike will feel a bit more confident about the future, although growth prospects remain a worry, as do cost pressures. With the full impact of reductions in public spending yet to be felt, we hope the Government will keep business concerns high on their agenda."