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FairFuelUK victory as Osborne freezes duty

28th June 2012, Page 4
28th June 2012
Page 4
Page 4, 28th June 2012 — FairFuelUK victory as Osborne freezes duty
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By the CM news team

THE ROAD transport sector can breathe a sigh of relief following the government’s announcement that it is postponing the 3ppl fuel duty rise planned for 1 August until January 2013.

Following vigorous lobbying by FairFuelUK (FFUK), including a threat from the Labour Party to force a vote on an amendment to the Budget legislation, chancellor George Osborne announced the abandonment of the August fuel duty hike on Tuesday (26 June).

Quentin Willson, national spokesman for FFUK, says: “For months, FFUK has pushed, argued, pleaded and proved to the government that scrapping the August duty rise would be essential to the economic future of this country. Thankfully, the government has listened.” FFUK founder Peter Carroll (pictured) says: “Special thanks go to the people who have signed up to the campaign. There are serious longer-term issues to address on fuel taxation and pricing – but for today, we thank the government for listening and acting.” The Road Haulage Association (RHA) says this is a “landmark” achievement by FFUK.

Jack Semple, RHA director of policy, says: “The FFUK campaign has driven a change in the way that fuel duty is perceived. The announcement will prevent further pressure being applied to the profit and cashflow of UK hauliers in particular.” He adds that the duty increase would have added £1,200 a year to the cost of running a truck.

Freight Transport Association MD of policy and communications James Hookham says the issue “went down to the political equivalent of penalties, but this time we’ve got something to celebrate” .

He adds: “It means a lot more cash in operators’ pockets for the rest of the year. The chancellor seems to have got it, so now we need to have a more structured debate about a long-term strategy for fuel duty – we can’t keep fighting ahead of every Budget.” Robert Wilcox, MD at Massey Wilcox Transport, based in Avonmouth, Bristol, says he is delighted with the news, adding that targeting hauliers has been an easy way for the government to raise tax for too long .

He says: “All along we have just wanted stability and this will help provide that. Most hauliers are running with a fuel surcharge, but it’s not always easy to get the costs back.” Meanwhile, Andy Boyle, MD at ABE (Ledbury), describes the news as “a wonderful result” .

ABE, S&S Distribution and Eurovision Logistics became the first operators to back FFUK financially earlier this month.

Boyle says: “If the industry wants further proof about how you get results – and if this is not a result, I don’t know what the hell is – they need to dip their hands in their pockets and back FFUK financially.”

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