The fuel duty hike yet again shows the Government's contempt for the haulage industry, says Kevin Buchanan, Managing Director of Palletline.
The country needs to recover from reckless spending, but reckless taxing is not the way to do it. Hauliers are being targeted because they do not have a voice in Westminster equal to their importance.
The Government only heeds big business, ignoring the fact that hauliers are vital to the UK economy. They serve, and are part of the backbone of the Britain SMEs. These are the companies that employ and innovate and generate wealth. They depend on hauliers to survive and thrive in challenging times.
Unlike private individuals, the UK haulage industry has no viable alternative to diesel. The Government should recognise this fact and distribute the tax burden more fairly.
Farmers have long enjoyed the benefit of reduced fuel costs, in red diesel. Hauliers deserve similar recognition whether access to cheaper fuel on the forecourt for vehicles exceeding a certain size, or a simple VAT claim and rebate system.
The Government wants the UK to compete on the world stage, but its short-sighted fuel duty policy works directly against this aim.
While huge sums of bailout money have made a one way trip to the continent, the Government refuses to help UK hauliers struggling to compete against European firms entering the country. These fleets increase the burden on our roads, but do not pay tax, and fill their tanks up cheaply before they leave Calais.
Conversely, UK hauliers delivering to the continent must depart on the most expensive fuel in Europe and then contend with toll roads upon arrival as well as Road Tax in the UK.
European hauliers should be taxed fairly to allow UK firms to adequately compete on their own soil. A UK road tax at the point of entry would achieve this.