BIFA displeased and happy with UK budget impact on British forwarders

2012 03 25

THE British International Freight Association (BIFA) has declared that the British government budget does not address its members concerns on fuel prices.

"It is disappointing that the fuel duty increase planned for August 2012 has not been scrapped in today's Budget," said BIFA director general Peter Quantrill.

"Such a move would have sent out a positive message from government to businesses in our sector, which operate on the tightest of margins and put us in a better position to both facilitate international trade and compete on a level playing field with foreign competition," he said.

But Mr Quantrill also welcomed news of the government's decision to waive backdated business rate bills for port-based companies and that the tax on heavy trucks would be frozen.

"We are also pleased to hear that the coalition government intends to double UK exports to GBP1 trillion (US$1.5 trillion) this decade which would bring additional business to BIFA members. It is also positive that the government is prepared to confront the lack of airport capacity in the south-east. We now look forward to hearing more about government initiatives which will deliver on these announcements," he said.

"We note that the government will take forward many of Alan Cook's recommendations for the roads, including developing a national roads strategy and setting a renewed focus on the level of performance expected from the Highways Agency," said Mr Quantrill.

"We also note that the government will consider whether to go further and will carry out a feasibility study into new ownership and financing models for the national road network. BIFA will now look into how we can contribute to that study," he said.

"Our members are still being hit by the high cost of fuel and we would still like to see the introduction of an essential user rebate and a review of the fuel duty increase planned for August 2012," said Mr Quantrill.

The government's recent announcements about differing means of investing in road transport infrastructure is good news for its members, but road pricing schemes could burden companies bottom lines, he added.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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