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Budget 2016: Reaction

Date: 16 March 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

BusinessCar rounds up the fleet, leasing and automotive industry's reaction to the 2016 Budget announcements.

Ashley Barnett, Principal Consultant at Lex Autolease:

"The chancellor's decision to prolong the tax duty freeze - for a sixth year - has clear benefits for British businesses as many continue to feel the positive impact of lower costs at the pump. The falling cost of fuel had prompted speculation about an imminent rise in duty, but businesses can breathe a sigh of relief, for now at least."

Comedian Al Murray reacts to Severn Crossing tolls being halved from 2018...

 Oh no the "it costs nothing to get out of Wales" gag has been made half as funny

- Al Murray the318 (@almurray) March 16, 2016

The FTA's Natalie Chapman tweets...

 Brilliant news - #fuelduty frozen for the 6th year in a row! #Budget2016

- Natalie Chapman (@_NatalieChapman) March 16, 2016

Quentin Wilson of FairFuel UK:

"Freezing duty for a fifth year is hugely significant. The Treasury now has five years of evidence to prove that keeping fuel duty low has helped improve GDP, stimulate economic activity and actually improve tax receipts. The Chancellor knows that low transport costs have had an enormous economic benefit to the UK over the last five years."

RAC chief engineer, David Bizley:

 "Motorists will be relieved that the chancellor has not used low fuel prices as an opportunity to raise duty on petrol and diesel to help reduce the deficit."

Rupert Pontin, head of vaulations at Glass's:

"The main headline in terms of motoring is that, contrary to many forecasts, duty on fuel will be frozen again.

This is clearly good news for anyone who drives a vehicle of any kind, as are the new road infrastructure projects that have been announced and the reductions in tolls for the Severn Crossing.
"The bigger picture is that the economy isn't doing quite as well as the Chancellor previously forecast and there is going to be some budgetary belt tightening.

Our view is that while risk factors have undoubtedly increased, the economic outlook remains relatively optimistic if susceptible to potential shocks such as the outcome of the EU referendum and wider global economic trends. However, there is nothing here that will cause us to change our view that 2016 will be a strong year for the motor industry.

"It is also worth mentioning that the backdated tax cuts for the UK's oil and gas industries could be good news for dealers in Scotland, some of whom have been coming under pressure on a localised basis."

Ashley Sowerby, managing director of Chevin Fleet Solutions:

"The fleet industry will give a collective sigh of relief that fuel duty will be frozen once again, something that seemed certain to rise according to all of the pre-Budget recovery. Apart from that, there seems to be little in the Chancellor's statement of interest for those operating cars and vans except for the welcome infrastructure expenditure on roads and halving of the Severn Crossing tolls."

Matt Dyer, Leaseplan UK's managing director:

"To hear that the Chancellor is powering ahead with a commitment to further infrastructure improvements, especially Crossrail 2 is encouraging for industry.

"With the current Crossrail link nearing completion, HS3 and the Manchester to Sheffield tunnel getting the green light, we are heading in the right direction to connect our British cities.  

"However, even though the Chancellor has pledged £50 million Pothole Action Fund for England and £130 million to repair roads and bridges from storm Desmond and Eva, there is still an awful long way to go in repairing Britain's decrepit and pothole-ridden roads."

Andrew Adonis, interim chair of the National Infrastructure Commission:

"The National Infrastructure Commission was established to transform the way we plan and deliver major infrastructure projects. I am glad that the government has accepted our first three reports

"Putting HS3 at the heart of a new high speed north can help bring our great Northern cities together and fire growth and Crossrail 2 is vital to keep more than 10 million Londoners moving in the 2030s. A smart power revolution across our energy sector - principally built around three innovations, Interconnection, Storage, and Demand Flexibility - could save consumers up to £8 billion a year by 2030, help the UK meet its 2050 carbon targets, and secure the UK's energy supply for generations."