Autumn Statement: BVRLA ‘disappointed’ over delay to diesel surcharge removal
In yesterday’s Autumn Statement (summary here), the Government announced a the delay in the removal of the current diesel surcharge on Benefit in Kind car tax, which was set to finish as of April 2016 but will now continue until April 2021. It also announced that day-to-day spending in the Department for Transport will be cut by 37% but said capital funding of transport projects would rise by 50%.
In response, BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “We’re disappointed with the Chancellor’s decision to defer the removal of the 3% diesel supplement on benefit in kind tax bands. This move will penalise company car drivers for decisions they have already made, based on the Chancellor’s 2012 announcement that the supplement would be lifted in 2016. What is especially frustrating is that many of these motorists are being penalised for driving some of the latest, safest, most fuel-efficient vehicles on UK roads.”
The BVRLA also said it’s concerned that a 37% budget reduction for the Department for Transport (DfT) will result in costs being transferred onto the fleet sector.
“What will the DfT have to stop doing to achieve these savings?” Keaney asked. “While we welcome the announcement that companies will benefit from more efficient digital systems, the government must not compromise on the quality or delivery of these services to save money.”
The BVRLA welcomed the extra money that was announced for the Transport System Catapult, as this will support innovation in Intelligent Mobility technologies and business models. Commenting on the announcement, Keaney said: “We now eagerly await news on how the Government will continue to support Ultra Low Emission Vehicles – we are particularly keen to hear about the future of the Plug-In Car Grant.”
Elsewhere, there was good news for the car rental industry as the government promised to increase support to tourism by creating a new £40m Discover England Fund to boost tourism across England.
The BVRLA added that it will continue to engage with all relevant Government departments and work to ensure its members’ needs are considered going forward.