The fuel duty cut announced by the Chancellor yesterday has been met with approval – but only to a point.
Essentially, many in the industry believe Rishi Sunak (pictured above) could – and should – have gone beyond a 5p a litre reduction.
The RHA welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement, but had already called for help for transport businesses.
In reality, yesterday’s fuel duty cut equates to a £2,000 a year saving on running a truck.
Responding to the announcement, Rod McKenzie, RHA executive director, said more more could have been done.
“The Chancellor missed an opportunity to announce a rebate to relieve more pressure on businesses,” he stated.
“We’ll continue to press the Government hard for this measure as firms grapple with huge operating cost hikes.”
Furthermore, McKenzie said an essential user fuel rebate should be introduced in the long-term.
The rebate would bring UK operating costs into line with key European competitors.
Fuel duty cut good; red diesel news not
Meanwhile, there was a warning about end of rebates of red diesel in light of the fuel duty cut.
Currently, red diesel and rebated biofuels won’t be allowed in vehicles from 1st April.
Fuel technology specialists SulNOx Group Plc said the move would hit consumers in the pocket.
In addition, it would have a minimal impact on improving the environment.
For example, reports suggest that around half of affected firms in industries such as construction could be put out of business.
Specifically, the fuel cost rises of around 55% from red to white diesel will be too much for some.
The government says the new rules will help to ensure fairness between the different users of diesel fuels.
In addition, it believes it will encourage the development and adoption of greener alternative technologies.
However, Nawaz Haq, executive director of SulNOx Group Plc, wasn’t convinced.
“A radical rethinking of the government’s fuel policies is needed,” he said.
“At the moment, fuel policies are not aligned to the economic needs of consumers or businesses and do little to combat emissions and improve air quality.”