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2013 Budget: Triple-dip recession threat demands fuel duty reduction, says fleet sector expert

Although Osborne is likely to scrap plans for an autumnal rise, many believe he will not go far enough in supporting the British transport and fleet industries by offering a three pence per litre reduction, as recently called for by industry lobbying group, The Freight Transport Association.  

With last year presenting continued economic hardship for many vehicle operators, accompanied with the serious threat of a triple dip recession due to a stark decline in manufacturing output, Ashley Sowerby, managing director of Chevin Fleet Solutions, said: ‘For many fleet operators, fuel is one of the biggest expenses. This means any fluctuation in costs can have serious knock of effects for other areas of the business.

‘The rumour that Osborne is likely to forgo plans to increase fuel duty is certainly welcomed but doesn’t quite go far enough in supporting fleet operators during such fragile economic conditions.

‘Introducing a tax break on fuel for the industry, or indeed a flat rate reduction for businesses and consumers alike, may reduce revenue for the treasury in the short term but will boost business growth, profit, sustainability and employment in the medium to long term – considerations that Osborne should take heed of if the UK economy is ever to enter a state of recovery.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.