Haulage industry’s reaction to the budget largely positive

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Whether it was relief or satisfaction, the reaction to the budget yesterday appeared almost universal from the transport sector.

The key elements affecting hauliers were the freeze on fuel duty and extensions to the furlough scheme and the HGV levy suspension.

In response, the RHA called the fuel duty freeze a ‘shot in the arm’ for commercial vehicle operators.

Chief executive, Richard Burnett, said: “This has been a Budget that is good for business and good for people.

“The announcement of a fuel duty freeze for the 11th year in succession comes as very good news,” he continued.

An RHA survey during the first Covid wave found that 50% of commercial vehicles were off the road. 

However, the agency has seen some recovery and remains positive about the future.

“As with every Budget, it contains much more detail than first meets the eye,” added Burnett. “But overall, we consider it to be a Budget based on optimism and right now, that’s something that we all need.

  Meanwhile, Logistics UK’s reaction to the budget stated it provided ‘a strong foundation for economic recovery’.

Alex Veitch, general manager of public policy at Logistics UK, however, did have slight reservations.

“Funding to train new entrants to the logistics sector is particularly welcome,” he said. Additionally, he welcomed a more flexible approach to apprenticeships to help recruitment challenges.

“However, the industry needs new recruits now – and a more flexible method of providing direct support to those looking to retrain and reskill,” warned Veitch.

Finally, Howard Cox, Founder of FairFuelUK, thanked the Chancellor and the Prime Minister for not increasing Fuel Duty. 

“It has been a tortuous campaigning journey convincing the Treasury year after year that this fiscal policy has positively benefitted the economy,” he said.

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