David Cameron

Sector gets back to business after Conservatives win General Election

Following the Conservative Party’s stunning victory in the General Election, which came as a shock to many, leading commentators from the logistics sector have been quick to respond and outline their requirements for David Cameron’s incoming majority Government.

The FairFuelUK campaign, on behalf of its 1.1 million supporters, has warmly welcomed the outcome of the General Election as the best option for the economy, 32 million motorists, businesses and the UK haulage industry.

In a statement, the campaign has acknowledged that fuel duty is frozen until the end of 2015 and any threatened levy increase by an Ed Miliband Government is now not a reality.  It also noted that the Liberal Democrats had also said they would increase fuel duty if in power and that it seems that Nick Clegg had been the obstacle to any more cuts taking place whilst in the coalition.

FairFuelUK will now continue to push the new administration for a three pence per litre cut in duty with the help of supporting backbenchers in the Tory Party and consistently supporting MPS from the SNP, DUP and several Labour politicos.

In addition FairFuelUK, with the backing of its supporting organisations, will be calling on the nation’s new MPs to support a full transparent investigation by the CMA of the pricing process at the pumps.

Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuelUK Campaign said: “The risk of a duty rise for hard pressed motorists and hauliers is removed for the immediate future.  It is indeed fabulous news but we will not rest on our laurels and will continue to campaign very hard to prove to the Treasury that cutting duty will continue to generate new jobs, lower inflation, increase GDP and stimulate new sources of tax revenue from economic growth.

“Many new MPs have already contacted us to support FairFuelUK in the coming months.  All the pollsters forecasted the election result wide of reality.  Whereas in our pre-election campaign poll of 60,000 supporters they predicted the outcome almost spot on.”

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has expressed its delight that the next administration will be a majority government.  Interestingly, during the recent Commercial Vehicle Show the RHA conducted its very own ‘election-style’ exit poll of visitors.  Of the 244 industry professionals who were asked: “which political party do you consider best represents the interests of the road haulage and logistics industry?” 57.7% answered “the Conservatives”.

Commenting on the result of the General Election, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “With one party forming a Government we look forward to forging clearer and closer relationships with ministers and officials.  In December 2014 George Osborne recognised the acute nature of the driver shortage and confirmed his understanding of the problem during an election campaign visit to an RHA member.

“Without the targeted funding that is so desperately needed to alleviate this major issue, the future of the UK haulage industry will be seriously compromised and the subsequent effects on the economy unthinkable.  We now demand that the new Government puts its money where its mouth is and puts the issue at the top of its priority list.”

The new Government must also recognise, in its policies and actions, that the road transport industry is an essential enabler of growth and the job creation needed to eliminate the public spending deficit.  It must support the industry, and therefore the UK economy, with appropriate tax policies, road investment and regulation.

“We still have by far the highest level of fuel duty in the EU.  It is a heavy tax on business, pushes up the price of everything we buy, undermines competitiveness and holds back our haulage industry.  It must not be increased in this parliament.

“Our congested roads desperately need investment and the current spending plan for England is the minimum level needed to sustain the economy.”

For its part, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) is urging David Cameron and his new Government to recognise the importance of logistics which is crucial to keeping the people of Britain supplied with essential goods they need, adding that to overlook its needs would be failing the industry and the economy.

FTA has also said that the new Government will have a ‘real challenge’ ahead in ensuring the economy can continue to recover, stating that logistics has a key role to play in this.

Karen Dee, FTA Director of Policy said: “Mr Cameron’s new Government needs to ensure that logistics is given the attention it deserves.  Its policies must ensure the industry can be as efficient and effective as possible in support of businesses and consumers in the UK.

“FTA is the leading trade association representing the operators and customers of all modes of freight transport – road, rail, water and air.  Our objective is to ensure that the UK has a safe, efficient and sustainable supply chain, and we sincerely hope that the new Government will support us in these goals.”

In its Logistics Manifesto 2015, FTA outlined that the freight industry requires better support from Government, and set out key issues which need addressing – including a cut in fuel duty; addressing skills shortages and recruiting professional drivers; and ensuring UK’s infrastructure networks (including airport capacity) are capable of meeting freight needs.

FTA will be writing to members of the new Government requesting the opportunity to discuss issues outlined in its Logistics Manifesto, and its wider ambitions for UK logistics.

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