Haulage companies across the UK have been given some respite as chancellor George Osborne announced the scrapping of the proposed hike in fuel duty.
The government was preparing to increase the price of petrol and diesel by three pence per litre which would be introduced on September 1st but the chancellor decided against enforcing the levy in the 2013 Budget. A number of sectors have welcomed the verdict which could possibility boost the chances of creating more supply chain and logistics jobs as a result of a stabilisation of the fuel rates. However, there has been disappointment that Mr Osborne has not lowered the duty any further than the current level.
Officials at the Freight Transport Association (FTA) stated that the pleas of the industry and consumers were not heard. The organisation has been at the heart of the FairFuelUK campaign which was aiming to have all forms of fuel duty increases scrapped and is continuing with its pledge of calling for a reduction in the current rates.
James Hookham, FTA's managing director of policy and communications, said: "While we are relieved that the immediate danger has passed, in order to get the UK back on the road to economic recovery it is vital that we have a cut in fuel duty and a long-term strategy to prevent future rises and uncertainty.
"The chancellor has once again squandered an opportunity to support UK industry, jobs and economic recovery, by failing to reduce fuel duty rates."
The FTA's standpoint was echoed by a host of haulage and automotive organisations with AA president Edmund King describing any fuel duty hike in September as being the "last straw likely to break UK drivers' budgets".
He went on to say that it could have led to widespread discontent between road users during the summer months. Mr King praised the chancellor's decision to scrap this rise, which will give motorists and haulage companies so much needed respite in times of economic challenges across the country.