Road Haulage Association

Haulage Industry News

Five pence relief – the war on fuel duty goes on

The price of fuel you are buying today is five pence per litre lower than it might have been due to the campaigning work of the RHA and its partners through FairFuel UK.

This saving is because of the cancellation of the ‘escalator’ of one pence, the postponement of an inflation rise of three pence and the reduction in duty level of one pence. It is a great victory for the industry.

It has to be said, though, that the price of fuel is still high and might go higher, and the rate of duty in the UK is still much higher than most of Europe, so this represents the winning of a battle – the war on fuel duty goes on.

One central feature of the FairFuel UK campaign was the number of MPs who signed up to support us (more than 140) and that was largely as a result of individuals contacting their MPs demanding action. The government clearly felt enormous pressure which led them to act. Having built this firm foundation of support in Parliament, we must build on it and keep the momentum going. RHA members are rightly sceptical about letters to MPs, but I have an excellent example of why this is so important. At the height of the campaign to canvas MP support, I wrote to an MP who I know has an interest in the road haulage industry setting out the RHA’s concerns. His reply was: “I’d be happy to reply in detail about my views on this (or any other issue for that matter) to any member of the RHA who lives in [the constituency]. The best way to get answers from MPs is not for us to receive emails like the attached but to hear directly from our constituents.” Needless to say, we have arranged for a number of his constituents to write to him.

It is also important to stress that any members willing to put pressure on their MPs will get full support from the RHA. Our staff will help members, including attending meetings and preparing briefing papers. You are not alone and the combined strength of the RHA and its members can become a powerful political voice in Whitehall and Westminster.

Yes, the price of fuel is still high and causing problems for many members and their customers. Yes, the level of fuel duty is still too high, and is the primary cause of the high price of diesel in the UK. And yes, the price of fuel is not the only issue the RHA must tackle, but at long last we have implemented a concerted and effective, industry-wide campaign and ensured that the government doesn’t just listen, it acts. The fight goes on!

April 2011  RHA Chief Executive – Geoff Dunning

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