Knocking on Parliament’s door
June 23, 2015
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The Chancellor’s announcement that he will deliver an emergency budget on 8 July has given the RHA a fantastic opportunity to renew its pressure on government.
In the past you needed to keep a close eye on the media to see our political lobbying efforts in action. Blink and you may have missed it. And this lack of visibility has been the cause of members questioning what we do for them.
I want our members and the broader industry to be very clear what the RHA is doing to address the multitude of issues that hinder us; and in many cases threaten our ability to support the economy.
To ensure our effectiveness as an influencer and to deliver the results you need to see, we are assembling the biggest PR and campaigning machine in the RHA’s history.
Over the last three weeks we have mobilised the RHA regional teams to ask members to write to their MPs so they can lobby George Osborne concerning the absolute need for the Government to provide £150m of funding – in the July Budget – to help employers recruit and train new HGV drivers. We delivered a personal letter on the subject to David Cameron at No10. Our communications team has been working tirelessly to wake up the national and local broadcast and print media to the issue and resulting from that effort we have enjoyed some high profile coverage.
In our budget submission to George Osborne, we have covered a number of key issues, including: fuel duty, investment in roads, VED, the capital allowance and our position on alternative fuels. While the driver shortage is our prime focus we will also be applying pressure – directly and indirectly – to ensure these issues are addressed.
But this is just the start. If we are to get the recognition in the eyes of government and the public, that this industry desperately needs to become a career of choice, we need to do much more.
Through our sponsorship of the 21 year-old BTCC driver Tom Ingram, we have the opportunity to put Tom through his HGV test. This works on a number of levels. He is known to millions of motorsport fans and his association with us means he can play an ambassadorial role for our industry. The media is beginning to pick up on this and we aim to get a television production company to make a documentary about Tom undergoing his HGV driver training. This in itself raises the profile of the industry and especially among young people. Keep watching this space for further news on the ‘new’ RHA working for you.