Home >Chancellor freezes fuel duty and introduces 'Amazon' tax

Chancellor freezes fuel duty and introduces 'Amazon' tax

03 December 2014

In his Autumn Statement, the Chancellor George Osborne has announced that fuel duty will remain frozen for the next year.

Responding to fast falling oil prices, the price based trigger point for changes to both the supplementary charge and fuel duty, set by the Fair Fuel Stabiliser in 2011, has been abolished by the Government.

Osborne also announced a trial of motorway fuel price comparison signs. The government will install electronic signs showing fuel price comparisons on the M5 between Bristol and Exeter during 2015. 

The Chancellor also unveiled the so-called Google tax. This will be a 25% levy on profits made in UK but diverted elsewhere.

This could have implications for the logistics industry with one of its most significant influencers - Amazon - paying little tax on large UK revenues.

The ‘diverted profits tax’ will apply to a company’s profits that have been diverted from the UK through complex arrangements such as these, and will apply to both UK and foreign multinational companies.

So if a company conducts a lot of activity in the UK – sales, for example - but can avoid paying corporation tax by moving profits generated in the UK to other countries through the manipulation of the international tax rules, the UK will now be able to tax those profits at a rate of 25%.

This will be introduced from April 2015.

In a measure to encourage apprenticeships, people under 25 undertaking this type of training will not have to pay national insurance.

The tax-free personal allowance is being increased by a further £100 in April 2015, to £10,600.

The Statement also included a previously announced roads revamp.

Road Haulage Association regrets missed opportunity to tackle HGV driver training

The Road Haulage Association said the Government had missed a huge opportunity to lead transformational change in the logistics industry and boost growth. The lack of funding for lorry driver training was a particular disappointment.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: "Thirty months ago, the logistics sector skills council (Skills for Logistics) identified the lack of funding as a key reason why we would soon have a serious driver shortage. Funding is readily available in many other, less vital sectors of the economy, with a limited level of availability for training lorry drivers, which is inaccessible and wholly inadequate.

"We put forward a targeted solution to a real problem, with massive support from the industry. It is very disappointing that the government has turned a deaf ear."