Fleet News

BUDGET: Expert comment - Julie Jenner, ACFO

ACFO chairman Julie Jenner comments on the 2010 Budget statement.

“The Government’s decision to implement in three stages the widely anticipated 3p a litre rise in fuel duty is to be welcomed. However, for Chancellor Alistair Darling to suggest that the move will help businesses is disingenuous.

“With pump prices already close to record levels - despite the ‘low’ price of crude oil - businesses as well as private motorists are feeling the burden of high petrol and diesel prices every time they fill up.

“The only way that the Chancellor could have truly eased the duty burden was not to push ahead with any increase.

“The decision to cut benefit-in-kind tax on company cars that emit 75 g/km of CO2 or below to 5% (8% for diesels) is a headline-grabbing move. With no such cars currently in showrooms it is likely to be at least 12-18 months before any driver can benefit from the move, which is when the first plug-in hybrids are expected to be launched.

“With a general election anticipated on May 6, this Budget was short on significant announcements that impact on fleets. The ‘real’ 2010 Budget is likely to be within a couple of months of the election from whichever party wins at the polls.”

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