The new Chancellor’s significant package of tax cuts has been largely welcomed by the haulage and logistics sector, which has been specifically designed to help support business growth.

Logistics UK said Kwasi Kwarteng’s ‘mini budget’ provided flexibility to haulage firms, including SMEs, with changes to IR35 and national insurance contributions particularly welcome.

Kate Jennings, policy director at Logistics UK, praised the government’s action to help address energy prices and she said: “Investment zones to support further industrial and commercial developments nationwide are a positive step.

“Logistics is a growing sector, which already supports many of the levelling up regions of the UK.

“To maximise the potential growth opportunities of these zones, it will be important to include the logistics industry in the delivery of these proposals.”

However, Jennings said there had been a missed opportunity on fuel duty and that Logistics UK had been calling for a 6p per litre cut to help operators save an average of £2,830 per year, per 44-tonne truck: “For the 99% of the road logistics industry who are SMEs, they may have no choice but to pass on these costs to consumers and for key workers, including those who work in logistics, the cost of travelling to work is a major cost-of-living issue,” she said.

ParcelHero said the Chancellor’s “slasher movie” mini budget would come at a high price: “Of course, businesses will welcome the new energy relief scheme that will discount gas and electricity prices,” said David Jinks, ParcelHero head of consumer research.

“Energy costs have been top of manufacturers’ and retailers’ concerns for some months.

“However, the temporary six-month scheme won’t be of much help to companies finalising their plans for 2023.

“A two-year deal, equivalent to that given to domestic customers, would be vastly more constructive and encourage businesses’ investment plans.”

Jinks also warned that the creation of investment zones looked like a “Devil’s bargain”, particularly around removing legacy EU red tape: “The UK’s planning rules, often constructed around EU regulations, have grown up over time to strike a balance between the needs of businesses and the environment,” he explained.

“Businesses that have sunk money into ensuring their operations are far greener than they were a decade ago, for example by switching to electric vehicles and embracing recycling, should be wary of this slashing of green regulations.

“Such developments may also face a considerable public backlash,” he added.

David Bushnell, director at consultancy Fleet Operations, said Kawsi Kwarteng’s decision to keep the annual investment allowance at £1m would be reassuring to fleets investing in new technology and charging infrastructure.

He said: “The decision to freeze Corporation Tax at 19% is also welcomed, but the impact of this must now be factored into fleet budget plans and cost projections.

“Corporation tax relief on the increased rate of up to 25% would ultimately have led to a reduction in fleet total cost of ownership.”

CBI director general Tony Danker described the budget as a turning point for the economy: “Today is day one of a new UK growth approach,” he said.

“We must now use this opportunity to make it count and bring growth to every corner of the UK. Fifteen years of anaemic growth cannot be repeated.

“Taking action to get Britain’s economy moving again by beginning construction on transport and green infrastructure projects shows immediate delivery.

“Planning reform is long overdue.”