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Budget 2013: Reactions from the business car industry

Date: 20 March 2013   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Epyx: David Wallace, sales and business development director at motor industry technology specialist epyx, said: "Last year's Budget contained a couple of surprises for fleets, especially the 130g/km Capital Allowances change, but there was nothing quite as significant to report this time around with the minor exception of the fuel duty freeze and the new 50g/km and 51-75g/km CO2 benefit in kind tax bands, which will only be relevant if more cars become available that can meet these targets.

"The major fleets with which we work will continue to concentrate, above all else, on driving down the costs of servicing, maintenance and repair in order to minimise the expense of business transport in difficult economic conditions.

"There is nothing in the Budget that will change that strategic approach."

The AA: Edmund King, AA president, said; "A September fuel duty hike would have been the last straw likely to break UK drivers' budgets and would have led to a summer of discontent.

"The freeze is a pragmatic move and will bring some relief at the pumps. Already 76% of AA members are cutting back on journeys, household expenditure or both, due to the high cost of fuel.

"With current fuel prices at 138.42 for petrol and 145.24 for diesel, drivers will welcome the scrapping of the fuel duty hike with relief rather than with joy. Prices are almost 5p a litre higher than when the Chancellor froze fuel duty in March 2011."

The Forum of Private Business: Chief executive Phil Orford said: "The Chancellor was absolutely spot on to make this decision today. No one wants to see fuel prices any higher than they are and small businesses will welcome that.

"Let's not forget though that prices are fast approaching record highs - any increase would have been reckless so this was just basic common sense.

"We still feel the Government needs to implement some kind of fuel stabiliser. The only way we're going to see anything approaching a fair price for fuel in the UK will be via a mechanism that works to bring fuel tax down when prices are high.

"Such a system would mean prices as they stand now would not be hovering just shy of £1.50 and taking money from the pockets of consumers better spent elsewhere in the economy.

"Unfortunately the UK will now suffer for another year at the mercy of fluctuating oil prices right when we need it least because of the Chancellor's failure to introduce such a system."