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UK directors oppose extra fuel duty rises

UK bosses are urging Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown not to increase fuel duties by more than the pre-set 6% escalator in the March Budget. In its representations to the Government the Institute of Directors, which represents 56,000 company heads, also says that a road congestion tax must not be considered without full consultation and companies paying should be rewarded with reductions in vehicle excise duty.

The submission states on the issue of fuel duties: 'It is important the Government sticks exactly to the announced policy so as to give businesses certainty.' Richard Baron, deputy head of policy at the IoD said: 'The Government has made it clear it will increase the cost of fuel by at least 6% in real terms each year. We are urging the Chancellor to stick to 6% to allow businesses to plan their budgets with accuracy and certainty.'

On congestion tax the representation states: 'A road congestion tax would have very serious implications for a wide range of businesses. No such tax should be introduced without full consultation on the details, for example exemptions at certain times of day to allow deliveries to be made, and any money raised should be returned to the private sector through reductions in vehicle excise duty.'

The institute is broadly in favour of taxing for congestion those companies in city centres where public transport systems provide a possible alternative, but would be opposed to the move on a country-wide basis. No environmental tax, the IoD says, should be introduced without a full public debate on its economic effects, on the value of its environmental goals relative to the value of other economic goals and on alternative means of achieving environmental goals.

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