UK truck fuel tax to be highest in Europe
The UK government is raising the tax on truck fuel on April 1. Forwarders represented by the British International Freight Association (BIFA) think it’s a Fool’s move.
Peter Quantrill, BIFA director general, said: “There is still time to reverse this further handicap to running competitive freight services in this country. Many of our members are paying over 130p per liter for diesel [the equivalent of $8.30 a U.S. gallon]. They are at the heart of international trade, exporting goods from the UK, often by road services, and bringing foreign goods to the UK, again often by road services, as well as positioning freight to air and seaports.
April 1 will be the 10th hike in fuel duty since March 2007, said the association.
Quantrill added: “BIFA members suffering because of ever-rising fuel costs and duty increases leaves me wondering whether those in government really understand and value the essential role of the freight forwarding industry. I appreciate that the world oil price is high, but Whitehall’s take is even higher. According to the Fair Fuel UK campaign, while the average EU duty on fuel is 31.15 percent, our members face Whitehall’s take of 58 percent. This means that our members are paying almost double the duty that European freight forwarders face.”
BIFA noted that its members who use third-party trucking services will face surcharges from April as Britain bears the highest diesel taxes in Europe.
“We know these are difficult times for the British economy but this draconian duty rise, which will have to be passed along the supply chain to the end consumer, coming as VAT rises to 20 percent, inflation takes off and job worries rise, can only hurt our fragile recovery. The government must abandon this rise and put in place a fuel price stabilizer to bring some balance to the issue and enable our members to better manage fuel costs and remain competitive internationally,” Quantrill concluded.