UK road freight transport costs have risen 9% more than in other European states since 1993. This is hitting the competitiveness of industry, says the Freight Transport Association.
The rise is due to fuel tax increasing by more than the rate of inflation since 1993, in an attempt to cut fuel use. The Freight Transport Association says the policy is not only failing to discourage road use, but is leaving transport operators with little revenue to invest in cleaner technology.
UK tax on diesel is between two and five times as high as other EU member states, making up a third of the operating cost of a 38-tonne heavy goods vehicle. The FTA has called for tax incentives to encourage users to become greener.
A survey by Intentia of 100 UK manufacturing companies’ views on the European single currency found a lack of awareness of its potential impact. Only 31% feel ‘totally prepared’ for EMU. A third thought it would not help their business and nearly 75% saw it as a problem, with pricing issues heading the list of concerns.
Year 2000 issues are being given a higher priority. While 65% of companies said they had appointed someone to take responsibility for EMU, only 26% said they were giving the issue a high priority.