Autumn Statement: Industry reaction
25 November 2015
Author: Daniel Puddicombe
BusinessCar rounds up the fleet, leasing and automotive industry's reaction to the Autumn Statement annoucements.
Heather Simpson, principal consultant at Lex Autolease:
"The impact of increased investment in Britain's road infrastructure will be enormous for the country's many businesses who rely on the road network to transport goods and employees. We hope that the effective implementation of the Roads Investment Strategy will slash journey times and congestion levels, in turn reducing fuel bills and improving driver efficiency."
The delayed removal of the 3% diesel surcharge is a blow for company car drivers, potentially impacting four out of five drivers."
Matt Dyer, managing director of Leaseplan:
"It satisfying to see the Government's continued commitment to Ultra Low Emission Vehicles in the UK, whilst news that the Government is to embark on the largest road investment programme in a generation is hugely encouraging for drivers right across the UK.
RAC chief engineer David Bizley:
"We are pleased the Chancellor has sought to protect the funds allocated to the Road Investment Strategy as this demonstrates a firm commitment to protect and improve the country's crucial road transport infrastructure in the longer term."
Ashley Sowerby, managing director at Chevin Fleet Solutions:
"The big news for fleets in the Autumn Statement is the retention of the company car diesel surcharge. In the past, governments have been pretty good at providing long-term notice of changes to company car taxation but this gives almost none, and will mean that fleets may have to revisit strategic choices such as which models they include on their choice lists.
"It will also rankle with drivers who were expecting to see a 3% reduction in their benefit in kind bill from April and will perhaps even have chosen their car with this factor in mind.
"There is no mystery to why the government has made this decision - it doesn't want to encourage more polluting company cars onto the roads until manufacturers can resolve the Euro 6 issue - but it is unfair. The emissions scandal was not the fault of fleets or drivers."
Lord Adonis, chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission:
"We need to transform the way we plan and deliver major infrastructure projects in this country. The significant investment announced in today's Spending Review represents a welcome step in the right direction - but it is only a start.
"We will only truly address the UK's infrastructure needs if we consistently plan for the long-term - not just over a year or a parliament but through properly assessing and acting on Britain's strategic needs over the coming 20 to 30 years.
Howard Cox of FairFuel UK:
"Great news that duty is frozen for the 5th year in a row. But George Osborne should have been bolder and cut duty on all fuels. He has missed a proven and ideal opportunity to increase consumer spending that generates new jobs, more VAT, a boost to GDP and as a result more growth tax revenue.
"We still pay the highest prices in the western world at the pumps due to his punitive and unnecessary taxation levels on drivers. He did not even mention Fuel Duty, so we can only assume that putting it up in the 2016 Budget is on the table. Our fight goes on for taxation sanity at the pumps."
Rupert Pontin, head of valuations at Glass's:
"Thanks to economic growth forecasts higher than those predicted by most experts, this was a much better Autumn Statement than expected.
"While there is, of course, a reasonable chance that those figures will not be met, we remain cautiously optimistic. Generally, we are looking forward to a relatively stable economic picture over the next couple of years, which is good news for consumer confidence and therefore for the motor industry."
Edmund King, president of the AA tweets...
Permanent Pothole Fund got lots of cheers but £250m over 5 years will only cover 5000 holes in Blackburn, Lancs plus Albert Hall holes....
- Edmund King (@AAPresident) November 25, 2015
Natalie Chapman, head of policy for London, South East and East of England at Freight Transport Association tweets...
Great to hear Govt has committed £250m to fund a long term solution for #OpStack - Now let's get on with building it! #SR2015
- Natalie Chapman (@_NatalieChapman) November 25, 2015
Boris Johnson, mayor of London tweets...