AFP disappointed at lack of help for fleets from Chancellor
09 July 2020
Author: Sean Keywood
More measures to benefit fleets should have been announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak in yesterday's Summer Statement, according to the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP).
The organisation's chair, Paul Hollick (pictured), said that with the announcement of further post-lockdown financial measures from the government billed as targeting sectors felt to be among the most vulnerable, it was: "Disappointing that none of this support has found its way into areas that are likely to benefit fleets."
He added: "This especially applies to low-carbon transport initiatives, but there could also have potentially been aid for dealers, manufacturers and even fleet service support companies, all of which are facing specific problems.
"Given the fast-moving economic and infection situation, we don't think this is the last time we'll see him making announcements of this type over the next few months and we remain hopeful that we will be included in future programmes, an argument we'll be making as an organisation."
Hollick is not alone in criticising the Chancellor's statement, with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) saying there should have been measures announced to directly boost the motor industry.
Chairman Mike Hawes said: "[The] announcements to safeguard jobs and encourage consumer spending in some parts of the economy are welcome - but it's bitterly disappointing the Chancellor has stopped short of supporting the restart of one of the UK's most important employers and a driver of growth.
"The automotive sector has been particularly hard hit, with thousands of job losses already announced and many more at risk. Of Europe's five biggest economies, Britain now stands alone in failing to provide any dedicated support for its automotive industry, a situation that will only deter future investment.
"We urgently need government to expand its strategy and introduce sector-specific measures for UK auto to support cash flow such as business rate holidays, tax cuts, and policies that provide broader support for consumer confidence and boost the big-ticket spending that drives manufacturing."