Business, Freight News, Road

UPDATED: No rise in fuel duty, more export finance

[ December 5, 2013   //   ]

The Chancellor’s Autumn statement, published on 5 December, cancelled September 2014’s planned increase in fuel duty. It also doubled UK Export Finance’s lending to exporters to £50 billion.

The fuel duty freeze was welcomed by Europa managing director, Andrew Baxter, who said: “At last, the Government has recognised the need for this kind of relief – not just for businesses but for consumers too, who have felt the knock on effects as higher transport costs have led to rising prices further down the line.

“For too long the British freight industry has been unfairly penalised by high fuel costs. While the recent fuel duty freeze has gone some way towards helping to minimise rising operator costs, this has been against a backdrop of a struggling UK economy – to say the least.

“Now we must hope that the tentative growth of the economy, coupled with the measures announced today, spell a brighter future for the UK haulage industry.”

BIFA director-general Peter Quantrill welcomed the increase in export finance capacity, saying that the Chancellor, George Osborne, had acknowledged the importance of selling British manufactured products in foreign markets, accepting the weakened state of many export markets. “More exports means more business for BIFA members,” he added.

He also welcomed scrappping of the planned increase in fuel duty and the decision not to charge tolls on the upgraded A14 road in Cambridgeshire: “Our Members know only too well how vital the A14 is to freight transport in the east of England. It is vital for freight movements within East Anglia and for our Members moving international road traffic to and from the port of Felixstowe on a daily basis.
On plans to improve the nation’s transport infrastructure, Quantrill concluded: “Previously, we welcomed the news that the government would allocate an extra £3billion every year from 2015-2016 to 2020 to infrastructure projects including roads and railways. We are now hopeful that all this talk of infrastructure investment will cease to be just talk and we will see some spades in the ground.”

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