ACFO director Stewart Whyte fired off the first letter in which he urged Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown to give the 'utmost priority' to resolving both the forthcoming BIK system and the proposal by the Inland Revenue to base the annual Vehicle Excise Duty on a car's carbon dioxide emissions from late 2000.
Fleet managers were quick to rally to ACFO's cause. Di Rees, ACFO director and business services manager in charge of Leo Pharmaceuticals' 175-strong fleet, said: 'As fleet managers we are all working in the dark and the Government has to make it clear what system we will be using.' Josh Ralhan, secretary of ACFO's Midlands region and fleet sales executive of Kwik-Fit Fleet, said: 'The Vehicle Certification Agency's booklet New Car Fuel Consumption and Emission Figures is certainly not user-friendly and even contains inaccuracies. This adds to an already confused message to fleet with little guidance from the Government.'
David Lee, who runs the 2,500-strong fleet for John Laing Construction, said: 'I would support anything that would raise awareness of our problems in Government. We have managers asking why we can't explain whether a car might see a hefty BIK bill in future and we have to say it is impossible because the Government won't tell us.' Nigel Trotman, Whitbread's central services manager, said: 'I've got drivers who want to know how the tax system is going to hit their pockets and I can't tell them anything. It's all too vague.'