FTA urges treasury to scrap fuel duty revenue ruse01 March 2011

The FTA (Freight Transport Association) is calling on the Chancellor to abandon plans for the above inflation fuel tax increase that is, due to be introduced this year.

The association argues that the fuel duty rise, estimated to be a minimum of 3.5 pence per litre, will make things worse for transport businesses, as many try to stay solvent amid rapidly rising fuel costs, squeezed credit terms and weak business activity.

"Political instability in other countries, and the impact this has on the price of a barrel of oil, is beyond the Chancellor's control. However, the level of tax he then heaps on top of it, is certainly not," says the FTA's chief economist, Simon Chapman.

"The Budget needs to prioritise measures that create an economically sustainable environment in which businesses have confidence in the future," he continues.

"The planned fuel duty hike is simply a revenue raising ruse. It offers no benefit to the economy, serving only to push up costs and inflation, and erode competitiveness," he opines.

FTA's Budget submission calls for tax on diesel and gas oil to be left unchanged this year, and supports actions to introduce a fuel price stabiliser, provided it can be made to work for the industry.

John Challen

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