Yesterday offered a rare moment of relief for British motorists and the transport industry in the 2011 budget outlined by George Osborne. The “Ford Focus Budget” cut fuel duty by 1p as of last night. Osborne stated that over the last 6 months the cost of “filling up a family car such as a Ford Focus has increased by £10” and that the cuts made in the budget were a reflection of this hardship.
In conjunction with the 1p fuel duty cut there will also be a freeze on the planned 5p fuel duty tax increase in April. This means that 6p in fuel duty has been cut and on average hauliers can expect to save £1500 per truck per year.
George Osborne also announced, “the fuel duty escalator, that adds an extra penny on top of inflation every year, will be cancelled,” he said, “not just for this year, or next year, but for the rest of this Parliament…It’s about doing what we can to help with the high cost of living and the high cost of oil.”
Geoff Dunning, RHA chief executive, commented, “this result demonstrates just how effective a clearly organised political campaign can be, and I am thrilled that the voices of hauliers have not only been heard, but acted on. I expected one of the best results would be scrapping the April duty rise, so to actually get a fuel duty cut is a welcome, but shock, surprise.”
Whilst this is certainly a step in the right direction, there have been reports from the public that petrol stations were guilty of increasing prices on Wednesday morning to counteract the cut. This is indicative of the international fuel market as a whole – taxes can be cut yet ultimately the prices at the pump are at the discretion of oil companies.
What are your thoughts on the budget and the fuel duty cuts?