Pre-Budget Report draws mixed response from transport/environment groups

Mon 12 April 2004 View all news

The Government's Pre-Budget Report has drawn mixed responses from the transport and environment communities. While motoring and industry groups were pleased by the fuel duty freeze, environment organisations were critical that the freeze will undermine efforts to tackle climate change.

The Green Party said that 'climate friendly' behaviour was not encouraged by the fact that at the same time as the cost of rail and bus travel has risen in the last seven years, motoring costs have fallen in real terms.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said that the decision to end the surcharge waiver on diesel company cars in one act could distort the market by creating a surge in diesel registrations towards the end of 2005. The Society would have preferred the change to be phased in.

The UK Petroleum Industry Association and the Retail Motor Industry Federation were disappointed that the duty differential for low sulphur fuels had not been introduced because of the overall fuel duty freeze.

Friends of the Earth were disappointed by the Chancellor's decision on fuel duty. Director Tony Juniper said that the decision "jeopardised the UK's ability to lead international efforts to tackle climate change".

The RAC Foundation and the Freight Transport Association were pleased by the duty freeze. The RAC Foundation pointed out that motorists already pay over £42bn in road taxes while only £6bn is spent on roads.


Related Links

The Pre-Budget Report - HM Treasury website

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