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Reaction to the Budget 2011

It’s great to see that the Chancellor has listened to the campaign which The Fuelcard Company and others within the industry have run to highlight the rising cost of fuel and its adverse impact on business. But should we have had to go through so much pain to get here with many transport business already having succumbed to the pressures and folded?

The Fuelcard Company’s marketing director Jakes de Kock thinks the measures announced in the much-anticipated Spring Budget on Wednesday (23 March) will bring some relief both to family car drivers and those who drive for a living. Indeed, they go further than many thought possible at this difficult time for the economy.

However, it’s obvious that the Government will need to be constantly vigilant in monitoring the volatile fuel market so that it acts again to further ease the burden on the industry should conditions worsen.

The fair fuel stabiliser has been promised for many months; we had predicted it was to become a thing of myth, mentioned once and then metaphorically swept under the carpet. We welcome Mr Osborne’s decision to finally introduce this innovative and much-needed measure.

Its most important element is that it now provides a balance between the rising cost of fuel itself and the amount of tax the Government takes on every litre at the pumps.

Without such help it would not just be the transport industry that suffers but every single household in the UK which would see the price of everyday goods rocket and fresh food become scarce.

However, for some in our industry it’s too late for recovery, with these latest fuel price increases hitting small and medium-sized businesses particularly hard with many forced out of business.

The reduction in Corporation tax, set to be reduced by two percent from April 1 and by one percent in each of the following three years, is set to benefit the transportation sector and encourage growth in the UK economy. We’ve been stagnant too long and need stimulation such as this to begin growing again and make the UK a true ‘business friendly’ location.

Maintenance is one of the biggest costs faced by fleet operators and the appalling state of UK roads following one of the most severe winters on records was driving up costs to unsustainable levels.

Therefore, we also welcome the additional £100m for local authorities to tackle the plague of potholes on our roads – the question is, will it be enough?

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