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BUDGET 2010: ACFO's verdict

Date: 24 March 2010

Julie Jenner, ACFO, Chairman

ACFO chairman Julie Jenner has condemned Alistair Darling's 2010 Budget as "short of significant announcements that impact on fleets."

"The Government's decision to implement in three stages the widely anticipated 3p a litre rise in fuel duty is to be welcomed. However, for Chancellor Alistair Darling to suggest that the move will help businesses is disingenuous," she said. ""With pump prices already close to record levels - despite the 'low' price of crude oil - businesses as well as private motorists are feeling the burden of high petrol and diesel prices every time they fill up. "The only way that the Chancellor could have truly eased the duty burden was not to push ahead with any increase.

She was also dismissive of the announcement regarding BIK payments on low-CO2 cars. "The decision to cut benefit-in-kind tax on company cars that emit 75 g/km of CO2 or below to 5% (8% for diesels) is a headline-grabbing move. With no such cars currently in showrooms it is likely to be at least 12-18 months before any driver can benefit from the move, which is when the first plug-in hybrids are expected to be launched."

"With a general election anticipated on May 6, this Budget was short on significant announcements that impact on fleets. The 'real' 2010 Budget is likely to be within a couple of months of the election from whichever party wins at the polls."