RHA asks ahead of Chancellor’s Spring Statement

RHA asks ahead of Chancellor’s Spring Statement

31 Jan 2024 Posted By RHA Policy

By Ferdy Willans, RHA Public Affairs Manager

We’re calling on The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to launch a package of support for HGV, coach and van operators in the upcoming Spring Budget.

The Chancellor will be delivering the Budget on 6 March and we are urging the Government to take action to support the road transport industry which is critical to supply chains and the wider economy.

Transporting people and goods is a fundamental building block for the economy and society. It is the core enabler of all economic activity. The logistics sector delivers in every circumstance including crises because it is flexible, adaptable and operates in a highly competitive market.

Despite the crucial nature of the sector it is struggling with a combination of rising costs and increased regulation. It has become clear that the industry needs government support over the short term, and a long-term vision to allow it to continue to grow unhindered.

Last year the RHA found that operating costs, excluding fuel, for a typical 44-tonne HGV increased almost 10% whilst the freight volumes decreased by 10%. This is on top of a 20% increase in 2022.

Increased costs in the logistics sector are passed on to the end consumer wherever possible – and where not possible, haulage firms risk business failure. Reduced costs on operators will help not just providers themselves but will also help reduce prices on basic goods and overall living costs for everyday consumers.

Rising costs and complicated regulation has resulted in record numbers of hauliers going insolvent. In the previous 12 months alone more than 450 businesses in this sector collapsed, more than double the number a year prior. This is not sustainable, and the industry needs support.

To address this, we are calling on the Chancellor to deliver for the sector through the following key measures:

1. Continue the freeze on fuel duty and maintain the 5p cut.

2. Temporary suspension of Vehicle Excise Duty on HGVs and the HGV Levy

3. An emissions-linked rebate on fuel duty on alternative fuels.

4. An essential user rebate on fuel duty for commercial operators.

5. Reform of business rates to support transport businesses operating warehouses.

6. Help businesses suffering from higher interest rates by extending full expensing to the cost of vehicle leasing.

7. Reduction in insurance premium tax which disproportionately impacts road transport operators due to the number of mandatory insurances.

8. Encourage training providers and colleges to offer heavy vehicle mechanic apprenticeships by increasing the funding band available to at least £23,000.

9. Reduce Employers’ National Insurance for operators training new starters, allowing greater investment to upskill UK workers. 

The RHA launched its haulage manifesto earlier this month at its Parliamentary Reception setting out a vision to support the industry and boost the economy.

Join in the conversation on social media – #SpringBudget #RHAbudget

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