Fleet News

Budget small print reinforces green intentions

THE Budget speech was memorable not for what Chancellor Gordon Brown said during the 62 minutes he was on his feet but for what he did not say in the House of Commons. He clearly signalled the Government's 'green' intentions through fuel duty changes and vehicle excise duty reforms, but other significant fleet issues were left for journalists to discover when they read the small print in the dozens of press releases from Government departments.

When the Budget press releases were available it became clear that fuel scale charges - fuel for private use - were being increased by 20% over 1997/98 and would be over-indexed by 20% for the next five years and there would be related changes on VAT on fuel scale charges.

Changes to Class 1A national insurance contributions from April 1999 also slipped through as did changes in corporation tax which could impact on the choice of fleet operation - leasing or outright purchase. But the biggest change not announced by the Chancellor was the decision to review the existing 2,500 and 18,000 business-mile tax breaks through the forthcoming transport white paper.

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