UK industry now faces transport fuel taxes two and a half times higher than in Europe, according to the Freight Transport Association, which reacted with fury at the Chancellor’s 6% plus 2p per litre increase in duty on diesel.
‘The Chancellor’s crude strategy of bleeding the transport industry to pay for Government expenditure is grossly unfair and stupidly short sighted,’ said FTAspokesman Geoff Dossetter.
CBI Scotland said that the rise in fuel duties was ‘disappointing news for Scotland’s hard-pressed businesses.
‘This is a particular penalty on manufacturing where the marginal cost of shifting goods will affect competitiveness,’ a spokesman said.
Diesel duty now accounts for 90% of the price of fuel. The bulk price per litre, excluding VAT, is now 56.35p, up 10.2%.
Vehicle licensing is ten times more expensive in the UK than in Europe, at £5,750 for a 40-tonne, five-axle vehicle. In total, the added cost of the taxes to UK industry will be £625m per year, the FTA calculates.