The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has submitted a set of proposals to the Treasury ahead of this year’s Budget. These include:
- A commitment to no further increases in diesel duty this Parliament and a reduction in duty, in order to boost growth and employment;
- A commitment to increasing the effectiveness of HMRC efforts to combat diesel duty laundering and fraud, which is undermining legitimate road hauliers;
- Announce a clear, long-term, SME-friendly Treasury policy on methane (natural gas and biomethane) as an HGV fuel; and other alternative fuel technologies;
- No increase in VED beyond the increases identified as necessary in relation to the HGV road user levy. A commitment to engage in discussion with the RHA and others on the development of targeted use of some of the HGV road user levy for the benefit of the industry; and
- Maintenance of funding for VOSA to current level to ensure continued enforcement effort.
The trade association says rising diesel prices are a prompting renewed concern. The average price paid by hauliers has risen by 5.8p a litre to 115.66 p/lit (before VAT) between the end of 2012 and mid- February 2013 and there are worrying signs prices will move further towards the all-time high recorded by the RHA of 117.66 p/lit. With diesel accounting for at least 35% of the total cost of running a 44-tonner and often a much higher proportion, this will lead to further conflict over haulage rates. Had the planned increase of 3.02 p/lit gone ahead in January, hauliers would now be paying an all-time high price for diesel.
As part of the industry’s drive to control costs without compromising quality, the RHA is urging action be taken to end VOSA’s monopoly on annual testing of HGVs and to make testing at ATFs available to the private sector, within a system of high quality regulation. This would serve to strengthen the safety culture of the industry, to improve workshop training, to boost efficiency, to reduce cost to industry and to boost growth through additional investment in up-graded workshop facilities.
The full submission can be viewed at https://tinyurl.com/b64mmqx