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Take the heat out of fuel prices says FTA. May 14, 2004
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Take the heat out of fuel prices says FTA
May 14, 2004

The Freight Transport Association has called for a temporary reduction in the high level of fuel duty paid in the UK. FTA believes that the dealing with the current high oil prices is more important that the prospect of the scheduled duty increase of 1.9 pence per litre in September. Massive hikes in the price of oil in the past weeks have seen pump prices rise to well over 80 pence per litre – an increase five times that of the one planned by the Chancellor.

FTA Chief Executive Richard Turner said, ‘The Chancellor has scheduled a 1.9 pence per litre increase in fuel duty for 1 September 2004, but fuel costs have risen recently by five times this amount. I am confident from the long-term dialogue FTA has had with the Treasury that no government would increase fuel duty if prices remain at this level.

‘Our focus instead must be on how the impact of the massive upturn in energy costs will affect business and everything we do now. We must also ensure that UK maintains its competitiveness and ability to operate in the short-term. If the 10 pence rise in fuel prices persists (and it could go even higher) UK industry will have to shoulder extra costs of over £1.35 billion – that is nearly £5,000 on the annual operating cost of the largest articulated truck. There is nowhere else for this extra cost end up than with the consumer.

‘Therefore FTA has asked Government to consider making a temporary reduction the existing high level of taxation for truck fuel to take the heat out of the current high prices.

‘At present 10 per cent of the price of every product bought in a supermarket is the costs of the transport to get it there. If fuel prices rise by 10 pence per litre, this will put transport costs up by 5 per cent and, on average, will up the cost of everything we buy in the shops by half a per cent.

‘The implications for the global economy are also serious should oil prices remain at $40 per barrel and over. Consistently high fuel prices could trigger global recession and I am certain that this should be the focus of the Treasury, not a 1.9 pence per litre duty increase.’

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