Autumn Statement 2016 – key points for fleets
The most important announcements for fleets, from the 2017 Autumn Statement. By Alex Grant and Natalie Middleton.
New Benefit in Kind bands for company car drivers, to be introduced in April 2020, will include a sliding scale for vehicles emitting 50g/km CO2 or less, based on their electric range. Fully electric vehicles will get their own 2% banding, while the familiar one percentage point increments will be retained from 90g/km upwards.
From April 2017, most salary sacrifice schemes will be subject to the same taxation as cash income, which the Chancellor said was designed “to promote fairness and broaden the tax base”. Ultra-low emission vehicles will not be affected by the changes, and neither will pensions, pensions advice and cycle to work schemes.
Fuel duty will remain frozen for the seventh successive year in 2017, saving drivers £130 a year on average and the average van driver £350 a year, compared to pre-2010 fuel duty escalator plans. Aimed at helping businesses and consumers, this is expected to result in an £850m cut in revenues.
An additional £1.3bn will be invested in the UK road network as the government aims to improve productivity. This includes £1.1bn for local roads and transport networks plus £220m to tackle “pinch points” on strategic roads. The Government also announced a £390m investment in low-emission and connected autonomous vehicles. Uptake of plug-ins will be supported by a 100% first-year allowance for businesses installing charging points, and £80m for public charging infrastructure.
Insurance Premium Tax is to rise from 10% to 12% from the start of June 2017, though measures will be put in place to combat “whiplash culture” in the UK and help keep prices down. The Chancellor stressed that the new rate was still lower than many other European countries, explaining that the rise was aimed at funding investment elsewhere.
Next year will mark the last time that the Budget is held in the spring. From 2017 onwards, there will be an Autumn Budget with a Spring Statement responding to the focus from the OBR, but no fiscal event. It’s hoped that this will provide more stability for businesses and individuals.