MPs voted against a suspension on the proposed 3ppl fuel duty rise yesterday (12 November), despite pressure from Labour MPs, Tory backbench campaigners and lobbying from FairFuelUK (FFUK).
A Labour-led motion to suspend the proposed increase in January to at least April was defeated 282 votes to 234. FairFuelUK claim that the increase will cost 35,000 jobs and prolong the recession by a further three years.
Quentin Willson, spokesman for FFUK, said: “Everybody is saying this is a toxic tax that the electorate despises- let’s deal with it and let’s not scupper the fledgling economic recovery.”
“Every 3p you put on a litre of diesel, you have to pass onto the consumer- that makes it more uncompetitive for you and also it brings a burden into your costs.”
FTA chief executive Theo de Pencier told Motortransport.co.uk that the FTA aims to get a commitment from the government to scrap the rise completely instead of postponing it.
De Pencier said: “It’s already the highest in Europe by a country mile, so lets have a bit of sanity and get that money that would otherwise be going on fuel duty into the real economy, get people spending it in the shops and help us all get out of this recession.”
In the House of Commons debate that took place on Monday evening, Labour MP for Invercyde, Iain McKenzie, claimed that the a 3ppl increase in duty would add £37,000 per year on the running cost of a fleet of 50 vehicles.
The RHA estimates that if the duty rise does go ahead the additional cost for an operator running a fleet of ten trucks will amount to £12,000 a year.
RHA head of policy Jack Semple said: “Many of our members at the moment have been asking for rate reductions- not rate increases. [Duty reductions are] one less attack on the cash flow of businesses which at the moment is a very important issue.”
“Firms are trying to re-capatalise now and are thinking about investing in newer vehicles. [They] are very reluctant to do that and to part with cash.”
FFUK are hopeful that the chancellor will announce a cut in fuel duty in the Autumn Statement next month.