2009 Budget – £1 billion low carbon recovery

It was announced yesterday with the budget that £1.4 billion is to be spent on the low carbon sector.

To give all industries the confidence to invest in low-carbon technologies, Alistair Darling also announced the world’s first carbon budget and committed Britain to cut carbon emissions by 34 per cent by 2020. We were disappointed not to see any clear intention of these funds specifically to reduce carbon emissions in the haulage industry.

Instead there was outrage at the decision of Government yet again raise fuel tax. Alistair Darling announced that fuel duty would rise by 2p per litre in September and then by 1p above inflation every April for the next four years.

“With rates being squeezed and deflationary worries growing, now is not the time to saddle forwarders’ haulage operations with extra fuel duty costs,” said Peter Quantrill, director general of the British International Freight Association (Bifa).

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) said the cost of Septembers’ fuel duty hike, in addition to the increase of 2p per litre back in December, will cost the industry an extra £553m and cause businesses to go bust.

“Insolvency in the logistics sector has doubled in the last year and the number of HGV drivers looking for work has almost quadrupled. What more evidence does the government need that parts of the sector are on their knees,” said FTA policy director James Hookham.