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News - 26 February 2008

"Businesses will suffer if fuel tax is increased" - BCC

Both the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) are urging the Government not to go ahead with April's planned increase of 2p per litre in fuel duty. With this increase the average cost of petrol will reach an all time high of 104.85 pence per litre.

"Fuel prices are hurting small businesses and their customers in every sector and in every area of the country," said Chris Glen, FSB Transport Chairman. "Now is not the time for the Government to be adding to their problems by increasing fuel duty. After a really tough year and several major tax increases, small businesses deserve a break."

Chris Hannant, Head of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said, "The soaring price of petrol at the pump is acting as a serious threat to the competitiveness of UK businesses yet the Government is set to compound the problem by introducing a 2p fuel duty rise in April.

"The Treasury has already generated a staggering £2.2 billion in oil revenue since last October's fuel duty rise and must surely now recognise that scrapping the next rise in April is in the best interest of the UK economy."

The effects of this increase will be felt by all businesses as wholesalers and distributors will pass the price on to their customers. For road hauliers the difference will be measured in thousands of pounds per month. Retailers will see their costs rise and will be forced to pass these extra costs on to the consumer.

Taxi drivers may find themselves in a much more difficult situation as their charges are often fixed by the local authority, which means they will end up bearing the brunt of the increases themselves.

 


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Hannant, Chris


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