The freight transport sector will breathe a collective sigh of relief today as Theresa May is expected to announce that fuel duty will be frozen for the ninth year in a row.
In her closing speech the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, the Prime Minster is expected to say: "Some have wondered if there would be a thaw in our fuel duty freeze this year. Today I can confirm that in the budget later this month, the chancellor will freeze fuel duty again.”
Speaking on Twitter, RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said the freeze was “a welcome relief for hauliers facing devastating increase in cost for freight and a victory for RHA’s campaign”.
UK motorists and hauliers still pay the highest levels of duty in Europe, he added, but while a freeze is good a fuel duty cut would have been “even better”.
Launching its Budget submission earlier this week, the RHA had said an ‘essential user rebate’ of 15 pence per litre would have made UK businesses more competitive.
Reacting to news, Harlow MP Robert Halfron said: "Great news after a strong campaign with FairFuelUK and Howard Cox. Motorists are safe for another year. Dellighted that the Treasury has listened to millions of drivers across the UK. Fact remains lowerfuel duty means a boost to the economy".
Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuelUK campaign, said: “The ‘just about managing’ will breathe a huge sigh of relief that duty is frozen for the ninth year. Thank you, Prime Minister, for seeing common sense. It’s now time for this fragile Conservative Government to work with 37m drivers to put together a long-term strategic road transport plan that motivates tax payers, the economy and the environment. Mr Hammond should also look into the mirror and ask why he is so out of touch with reality.”
“Our independent economic analysis by the CEBR clearly showed that Philip Hammond at the despatch box was not telling the truth in respect to the Exchequer losing £46bn of tax levy hikes since 2011. This was a statement of political distortion. Had the fuel price escalator been in place, 37 million hard-working drivers would have been paying £1.70 per litre at the pumps.”
According to FairfuelUK, the UK currently has one of the highest fuel duties in the world at 57.95ppl, despite the freeze. At 25 September 2018 spot exchange rates, German fuel duty comes in at 50.5ppl, Australia is at 21ppl and the USA’s average level is 10.4ppl.
Had the fuel duty escalator continued as planned from 2011 onwards, fuel duty today would be 83.33 pence per litre rather than 57.95 pence per litre, 43.8% higher. FairfuelUK suggest this translates into 5.14% higher prices for freight transport by road.
Posted on: October 3rd 2018