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BUDGET '09: ACFO's view

Date: 23 April 2009

"There's a fine balance between the company's need to save money and the need to attract and retain good staff," says Julie Jenner, ACFO

ACFO chairman Julie Jenner has her say on the 2009 Budget.

"We are disappointed that the scrappage scheme is limited to new cars and vans and has no environmental component that encourages the uptake of low emission vehicles.

"We had promoted a scrappage scheme that would have incentivised the purchase of vehicles up to four-years-old powered by engines that meet Euro4 emission standards and have a CO2 figure of 165 g/km or less.

"Such a scheme would have also had the benefit of protecting the residual values of defleeted company vehicles.

"We fear that by only including new vehicles within the scrappage scheme, demand for ex-company cars and vans will suffer as consumers turn their attention to new cars to obtain the incentive. This will obviously hit residual values.

"However, it remains to be seen how many consumers take advantage of the scheme. People who drive old cars typically do so because they just can't afford a new vehicle. Even with the £2,000 incentive a new car will still be financially out of reach for many people.

"Aside from the scrappage scheme, the 2009 Budget will have a limited impact on fleets.

"We welcome the early clarification of the 2011/12 company car tax changes, which means that fleets and drivers can take the measures into account when making vehicle choices.

"However, we look forward to hearing more details on the long-term plans for benefit-in-kind tax from 2012 on both low emission company cars and on diesel cars, notably in relation to the possible abolition of the current 3% tax supplement and incentives for Euro6 emission vehicles at the earliest opportunity."