2012 Autumn Statement - Reactions from the industry
05 December 2012
ATS Euromaster group managing director Ian Stuart: "The Chancellor's avoided delivering a hammer blow to the economy with his decision on fuel duty; but what we really needed to hear was a 3-6 pence per litre (ppl) reduction in fuel duty to encourage growth and consumer spending, whilst reducing distribution costs to everyone's benefit.
"We're technically out of recession, but the country is still desperately trying to get back on its feet and the cost of fuel is dragging businesses and motorists down. Scrapping the fuel duty increase is a positive step; but a 3-6ppl reduction would have given the country a far bigger boost."
Road Haulage Association chief executive Geoff Dunning: "The Chancellor's announcement that he intends to cancel the fuel duty rise that was planned for January comes as a welcome surprise.
"However, the fact remains that for many hauliers, this latest move will only be seen as a delaying tactic. UK hauliers are tremendously resilient. What other sector of UK industry can survive on profit margins of, in some cases, less than one per cent? Despite this ours is the industry on which the rest of the economy is almost entirely reliant.
"We deliver the raw products to the processing plants, we put the bread of the shelves of the supermarkets and we deliver the parts needed by the manufacturing industries. In effect, we deliver daily life. That is why a fuel duty cut is so essential. It will free-up personal finances that can be used to give the economy as a whole the shot in the arm it so desperately needs.
"The Road Haulage Association has commissioned research into a long-term, workable solution that demonstrates how a 3ppl cut in fuel duty will create a net gain of 70,000 jobs and a GDP growth of .2 per cent. We know what the problems are and we have a workable solution. But it needs to be put into practice now".
AA president, Edmund King: "Chancellor Osborne's decision to cancel the 1 January fuel duty hike avoids a New Year's headache and a long hangover for all drivers and is very much welcomed by the AA.
"Big Ben's chimes ringing in a nearly £2-a-tank hike in petrol and diesel prices would have backfired on the Government and economy,"
"The Treasury may have thought that a fuel duty increase in the winter, when petrol is usually cheaper, would have been easier. But, toasting the New Year with champagne at a lower duty rate than road fuel underlines successive governments' failure to spot the difference between a luxury and a necessity.
"In 20 years, UK motoring has cut its fuel consumption by 20% (12.8 billion litres), but contributes 144% more (£15.81 billion) in fuel duty tax. In the last financial year, The Treasury collected its second highest-ever haul of fuel duty from UK drivers - a whopping £26.8 billion. That is two and a half times more than what is spent on UK roads (£9.8 billion), even before receipts from Vehicle Excise Duty, VAT, company car tax and new car tax are added."
"We welcome the extra money for road schemes and in particular a commitment to upgrade the A1 up to Newcastle to motorway standard which will boost the economy of the North East and improve safety."
BVRLA chief executive John Lewis: "We are due to meet with the HM Treasury officials this month and will remind them that all the benefits of these allowances would continue to flow through to business end-users, as they do now.
"By removing the ability of the leasing industry to claim these allowances, the government will just make it more expensive for businesses to run greener fleets. There is no logic to it.
"As the vehicle leasing industry trade body you could say that we are biased, but the Committee on Climate Change, the Transport Select Committee and LowCVP are all in agreement."
Leaseplan managing director David Brennan: "The Chancellor's Autumn Statement is positive news for drivers and for the UK economy. It is a welcome break for UK motorists, after a series of cost increases and stealth taxes in recent years.
"The Chancellor's pledge to invest £1 billion in road improvements recognises the importance of road mobility to our fragile economic recovery. Keeping Britain moving will keep the economy growing.
"But we are still waiting for construction to begin on the road schemes announced this time last year. We urge the Government to move quickly and deliver these much-needed upgrades. Today's announcement is an important step forward, but further investment is still needed to tackle delays in many more areas around the country, which slow down drivers and hamper business efficiency.
"UK fuel prices remain among the highest in the world, placing a financial strain on many businesses. The Chancellor's decision to permanently cancel the planned fuel price hike will help ease the burden on UK motorists and businesses."
"Cutting corporation tax and extending rate relief will help LeasePlan and many of our customers drive the UK to growth."