Chancellor challenged over fuel duty freeze

The Freight Transport Association has written to George Osborne, asking him to confirm the commitment to freeze fuel duty he made at the Conservative Party conference.

In September the chancellor said that “provided we can find the savings to pay for it” he would freeze fuel duty for the rest of the current parliament.

The FTA’s chief executive, Theo de Pencier, said that he believed that cutting duty would provide” just the kind of stability needed to give businesses the confidence to invest in the future”.

Alongside the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and others including the Association of Pallet Networks (APN), the FTA are one of the major backers of the FairFuelUK campaign – which continues to promote a cut in duty citing benefits from job creation to a boost in GDP.

Osborne will deliver his Autumn Statement on 5 December.

HMRC targets south-east hauliers in tax crackdown

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has launched a tax crackdown in the south and south east of England focusing specifically on the road haulage sector.

An HMRC taskforce will target individuals and businesses in the sector to track down both undeclared income and the sale and use of illegal fuel. The operation, which will cover south Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Dorset, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Wiltshire, will net HMRC an estimated £3.75m.

HMRC has collected over £100m from 54 taskforces since 2011 and says it expect to generate over £90m a year from further taskforce activities over the next three years.

A spokesman for said: "We believe there is a significant risk of under-declaration within this sector, which this taskforce seeks to tackle. However taskforce activity is only one – albeit a significant one – of the activities HMRC will undertake."