Felixstowe: Truckers plead for fuel favour to stop haulage firms going bust
Give us a break!
That’s the message from Suffolk’s truck drivers today to chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne amid fears of another crippling fuel duty rise in Wednesday’s budget.
Diesel price rises since October mean it is now costing hauliers an extra �6,055 to run each truck.
“It’s really hard at the moment – there are companies going out of business every week,” said Paul Dawson, managing director of Felixstowe-based Deben Transport.
“Many are finding it’s not worth the risk, the risk of losing everything they have built up in their life just to try and keep their trucks on the road.”
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Every penny adds a further �424 a year to the running of a heavy goods vehicle, costs which must be passed on to the customers and from there to the public as consumers.
Mr Dawson said: “We have been saying the same things for years but the impact at the moment is worse than for a long time and we hope he will sit up and take notice and make some changes.
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“It is really bad for every motorist, but for those of us in business it is terrible – we are paying out more and more to buy diesel and as well as having to pass on those costs to our customers we have to wait for the money to come back to us because we have to pay up front, which causes cash-flow problems.
“The price rise has been ridiculous. The chancellor must be rubbing his hands. It wouldn’t be so bad if the extra fuel duty and VAT was being ploughed back into the transport system and public transport.”
There have been fears across the industry that the government could be looking at a 3.5 pence per litre fuel duty rise.
Simon Chapman, chief economist of the Freight Transport Association, said: “The planned fuel duty hike is simply a revenue raising ruse.
“It offers no benefit to the economy, serving only to push up costs and inflation and erode competitiveness.”
Road Haulage Association head of communications, Kate Gibbs said it was time the chancellor acknowledged the crippling effects fuel price hikes are having on UK road hauliers.
“These additional rises are putting a tremendous extra financial burden on the haulier and on the country’s economic recovery – each is vitally dependent on the other for survival,” she said.