RHA demands fuel and ved freeze
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IN ITS ANNUAL bid to dissuade the Government from imposing increased tax burdens on hauliers in the spring Budget, the Road Haulage Association has called for a fuel tax freeze and has continued to lobby for a similar freeze on vehicle excise duty (ved) and track costs allocation. TIM COBB reports.
Duty paid on dery accounts for 47 per cent of the total price, the RHA said. But Italy pays only 17 per cent, Denmark 28 per cent, per cent.
Commenting on ved, the RHA reminded the Chancellor of the recent Department of Transport consultation document on road track costs: "This clearly states that taxes on the heaviest goods vehicles now more than cover their track costs."
It said that a tax freeze would help hard-pressed transport operators to improve their investment potential. "This in turn would help to fuel the momentum of the recovery which the Government has promised for so long and which now seems at last to be imminent," it said.
The sorry plight of British roads was brought to Mr Lawson's attention, in particular the familiar situation of Britain being a poor runner-up to its EEC counterparts.
The performance of all our EEC competitors in this area is better than ours, it said. It stressed the need for improvements to the road network through more funds being allocated to the road construction and maintenance programme.
"The difference between what is spent on roads and what is collected from road users in taxes is estimated at a massive £6,479m," it said.
Looking at the lack of funds in a different way, the RHA drew attention to the number of motorway kilometres the UK can boast compared to EEC countries. The UK has 2,666km compared to West Germany's 7.619km.
• Dery prices, p4