FTA: Govt must focus on skills and fuel duty

9th November 2015

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has called on the government to address the dual issues of skills shortages and the high cost of fuel duty for UK hauliers.

FTA director of policy Karen Dee stated that both the chancellor and prime minister have emphasised that their priority is to protect the UK economy and to boost productivity in the coming years.

However, current policies surrounding the issues of costs for haulage providers and the ongoing lack of new entrants into the profession do not appear to be high on the agenda for government support.

She argued: "The government's decision to freeze fuel duties for the past five years has delivered much-needed relief not only to the logistics sector, which faces continuing difficult trading conditions, but also to the wider motoring public who rely on their cars to get to and from work.

"But independent research has shown that a 3p per litre cut in duty would deliver further benefits – creating jobs, boosting GDP, and in some circumstances, delivering a net increase in tax revenues."

Ms Dee added that the need for additional investment in not just affordability for the nation's logistics providers is now stronger than ever, but support to attract new drivers to the profession is also essential.

With investment in skills a national priority ahead of the coming festive season, the government needs to be aware that failure to address this problem could result in empty shelves and businesses suffering this Christmas and into the new year.