Fleet News

Fuel tax move demonstrates the huge power of industry lobbying

CHANCELLOR Gordon Brown's decision to abandon his wholehearted commitment to the fuel tax escalator has been heralded throughout the fleet and motoring world as a demonstration of the power of industry lobbying. But it has come with warnings that pressure must be maintained to ensure promises made regarding investment in roads and on public transport are met.

For months the Government has been under pressure to scrap its strategy to annually increase the duty on petrol and diesel by 6% above inflation, culminating earlier this month by a united call by a consortium of fleet, business and manufacturing bodies. These campaigners, including the Automobile Association, RAC, the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, were celebrating after the pre-Budget announcement.

But while they enjoyed the taste of victory, these groups insisted they would remain as vigilant and as determined to get a fair deal for fleets and the motorist in general. Norman Donkin, director general of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, said: 'I welcome the end of the automatic rises in fuel costs.

'It's what we've been arguing for some time and the allocation of rises above inflation to public transport is also good news. But I challenge the Chancellor to meet society's environmental needs by allocating more than just £6 billion out of the £33 billion he currently raises in motoring taxes, to reducing pollution and congestion and improving public transport. Only then will the Government be seen to have the green credentials we would all like to have.'

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