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8 Nov 2011

Fuel duty: no one can deny it’s a hot topic! We’ve seen countless comments from industry leaders, our own Sales and Marketing Director Jakes de Kock included, urging the Government to abandon fuel duty rises and bring down the spiraling price of fuel to support the hard-pressed fleet industry. Sadly though, to no avail.

However, the recommendations of Sir James Mirrlees in his review of the UK tax system have cast the entire debate in a whole new light. Until now the industry has been focusing on reducing fuel duty, but what if it was scrapped all together and a system of congestion charging was put in its place, as the review suggested. Finally a system of taxation that tackles one of the biggest problems on UK roads – congestion.

Although many in the industry are still digesting this controversial idea, The Fuelcard Company’s Jakes de Kock has this week spoken out to support the recommendations, saying that replacing fuel duty with congestion charges could revive the fleet industry and boost economic growth.

He said a congestion charging scheme would be a much fairer system of taxation and would address the issue of growing congestion which is one of the biggest problems on UK roads.

“Levying tax from all drivers, whether they are ‘choosing to drive’ in their private lives or providing an essential service for the country by transporting goods and materials from place to place, is totally unfair,” he said. “A system of congestion charging would level the playing field and apply to all motorists travelling in a particularly busy area – likely to be in and around city centres – rather than being based on distance covered, as with fuel usage, which places a heavy burden on fleet companies.”

Whether the Government heeds the advice of Sir James Mirrlees remains to be seen. But for now, just having another option on the table is refreshing.
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