FairFuelUK is campaigning to cut fuel duty. An independent study they commissioned claims that this will boost the economy and help haulage companies.
Owners and managers of haulage companies, whether large businesses serving the entire country or small local companies, are very aware of rising fuel costs and how they have an impact on their business and profitability.
Fuel duty varies according to the type of fuel your trucks are using – petrol, diesel, biodiesel and bioethanol: 57.95 pence per litre; liquefied petroleum gas (LPG): 31.61 pence per kg; and natural gas used as fuel in vehicles, e.g. biogas: 24.70 pence per kg). But even if your fleet is using LPG or natural gas with lower fuel duty rates, the percentage of your total fuel costs and overall running costs that are paid directly into government coffers is considerable.
“FairFuelUK” Campaign to Cut Fuel Duty
FairFuelUK was launched in 2011, with the support of the Road Haulage Association and the Freight Transport Association, with the stated aim of getting the UK government to lower fuel duty and enforce transparent pricing at the pumps. FairFuelUK has, to date, fought fuel duty increases and say that they have stopped £57 billion in tax hikes which would have resulted in fuel prices going up by 16 to 20 pence.
Boosting the Economy and Benefitting Haulage Companies
FairFuelUK commissioned an independent study and report into the possible impact of reduced fuel duty on the economy and haulage companies. The report, compiled by The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), was recently presented to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It was endorsed by 50 MPs and backed by a petition, signed by more than 15,000 people, that calls for the creation of an independent fuel price watchdog agency to be called PumpWatch.
The CEBR’s brief was to examine the effect the current fuel duty freeze has on the British economy and the possible impact of a 3% cut in fuel duty in 2017.
In its report, CEBR stated that the 2011 duty cut and the subsequent freeze has saved households and business from £3.4 billion to £5.3 billion (the second figure takes into account RPI plus 1ppl).
The report goes on to state that: “…if fuel duty increases in line with the RPI next April, annual running costs for a 44-tonne truck would increase by £847. If duty increases by RPI + 1ppl, then running costs would increase by £1,318.”
In addition, according to CEBR, a three pence per litre cut in fuel duty would increase the GVA of haulage companies and result in the creation of 8,000 new jobs.
The Benefits to Post-Brexit Britain
MP Charlie Elphike – who is also Chairman of the FairFuelUK parliamentary lobby – has said that if fuel duty were to be increased in 2017, this would represent £40,200 of extra cost per truck, or the equivalent of two jobs.
He also said that whilst UK wholesale petrol and diesel prices increased by 5.31% and 4.43% respectively between October and November 2016, pump prices went up 3.13% and 3.63% respectively. This, he says, is why a pump watchdog organisation is needed and has called on drivers to sign the FairFuelUK petition. He suggests that if this is something that drivers feel passionate about, they should lobby their local MP.