Budget 2010: Alphabet response
'So close to a General Election, this was never going to be a budget to take any chances. The £100 million for pothole repairs is a welcome gesture, as fleets are beginning to feel the effects of last winter’s severe damage through the cost of repairs and the prospect of higher insurance premiums. The test will be whether the funding speeds up the rate of repairs, which seem to be falling further and further behind.
'In other respects, the Budget was very predictable. Staggering the fuel duty increase will bring some relief but the effect could easily be swamped by rising oil prices due to the weak pound and the return of pricing power to OPEC. We are also seeing more of the effects of the Government’s strategy of trailing future tax increases well ahead of time, in that next month will bring in the first-year VED rates and higher BIK on cars and fuel.
'These tax rises now seem to be just about raising more revenue. We would like to see a more constructive, coordinated approach to using tax to drive changes in behaviour, as the Government did with the CO2 bands on BIK a few years ago, only this time aimed at private motorists as well as fleet drivers. But that’s something for the next Chancellor to look at.'