Industry disappointed after chancellor freezes rather than cuts fuel duty

The industry has welcomed the cancellation of the planned September fuel duty rise, but is disappointed that duty was not cut.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) said hauliers are still paying the highest in fuel duty in Europe, with diesel prices currently standing at 115.14ppl, excluding VAT.

FairFuelUK spokesman Quentin Willson was disappointed that duty was not cut in the chancellor’s Budget, giving businesses “no immediate relief from climbing fuel prices”.

Willson said: “Cancelling a rise that really shouldn't happen is not enough. The government needs to cut duty substantially to get the economic growth we all need.”

RHA chief executive Geoff Dunning welcomed the cancellation of the planned duty rise but urged customers to be more accepting of haulage rates that take into account the rising cost of fuel.

Dunning said: “Customers have to accept that their haulage charges must rise if they are to continue to receive the services upon which they depend.”

Missed opportunity

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) said the chancellor’s decision represented a ‘missed opportunity’ which ignored the industry’s pleas of a 3ppl reduction to stimulate economic growth.

FTA MD of policy and communications James Hookham said: “While we are relieved that the immediate danger has passed, in order to get the UK back on the road to economic recovery it is vital that we have a cut in fuel duty and a long-term strategy to prevent future rises and uncertainty.”

On Twitter, hauliers were disappointed that the chancellor had decided not to cut fuel duty.

@doweneedtrucks tweeted: "so what has been achieved...hmmm NOTHING! the same as yesterday and tomorrow"

@jayevan69 tweeted: "no reductions though, which is what's needed!!!"