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Budget a ‘lost opportunity’
30 October 2018
The Freight Transport Association has labelled the last Budget before Brexit as a ‘lost opportunity’ for logistics.
Christopher Snelling, head of UK Policy, at the FTA said: “More could and should have been done to help the logistics sector at such a critical time in the nation’s trading history. It is a lost opportunity.
“The £420m to repair potholes is a drop in the ocean when you consider that work that will cost more than £8billion is needed to rectify years of under investment in our road network. The damage caused by potholes to the UK’s logistics fleet is adding unnecessary cost to the operation of vehicles tasked with keeping Britain trading, and FTA is concerned that the funding released by the Chancellor will mean that operators will continue to incur these unreasonable costs at a time of extreme trading pressure.
“The freeze on the Heavy Goods Vehicle HGV VED for 2019-20 is to be welcomed, and FTA is particularly pleased to hear that the government is set to maintain the difference between alternative and main road fuel duty rates until 2032. This will support the de-carbonisation of the UK transport sector and give operators confidence to invest in alternatively fuel vehicles.”
RHA chief executive Richard Burnett urged the Government to start improving the road network now.
“We are already heading towards another cold winter and the potholes resulting from last winter’s freezing conditions still need to be fixed before they get even worse.”
KEY POINTS - BUDGET 2018
- £30bn package for England's roads, including repairs to motorways and potholes
- 30% growth in infrastructure spending
- Annual investment allowance to be increased from £200,000 to £1m for two years
- Business rates bill for firms with a rateable value of £51,000 or less to be cut by third over two years
- Contribution of small companies to apprenticeship levy to be reduced from 10% to 5%
- £900m in business rates relief for small businesses and £650m to rejuvenate High Streets
- Extra £500m for preparations for leaving the EU
- The personal allowance threshold to rise from £11,850 to £12,500 in April
- The higher rate income tax threshold to rise from £46,350 to £50,000 in April
- National Living Wage increasing by 4.9%, from £7.83 to £8.21 an hour, from April 2019.
Parcel price comparison site ParcelHero welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement that he will cut business rates by a third for all High Street retailers in England with a rateable value of £51,000 or less, and that he will not be introducing a rumoured online sales tax on goods bought online. However, it warned the claims Hammond’s budget dividends will not be impacted by a hard Brexit do not ring true.
“There is a lot for retailers and consumers to applaud in the budget; but speaking as a business at the coalface of customs borders, we believe the new tariffs and delays a no-deal Brexit would create would make today’s announcements unsustainable,” said ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT.
In contrast, Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General praised a ‘rock-solid budget’.
“It recognises the enormous contribution enterprise has made to balancing the UK’s books through jobs, pay and tax and responds to many of the recommendations that firms have made.”
On investment proposals, Carolyn added: “The Chancellor has come up trumps with a bumper package to spur firms to invest more into their factories and machinery, with the improved Annual Investment Allowance and incentives for spending on buildings.”