The Road Haulage Association has reacted strongly to news that the economy has shrunk by 0.2% in the first quarter of 2012 and warned its not just lorry and big van operators who will be hit.
“Of course we are disappointed at the news that the UK has returned to a state of recession”, said RHA Chief Executive Geoff Dunning.
“However”, he continued, “what comes as an even greater disappointment is that this news is not unexpected. If Government would heed our advice and address the issue of fuel duty once and for all, this is a situation that could almost certainly have been avoided.
“Users of petrol and diesel fuels are desperate to see a reduction in fuel duty. The price of a tank of fuel would reduce and the subsequent savings would be put back into the economy, giving trade the boost it so desperately needs.
“The barrel price of oil now stands at its lowest for quite some time. In addition, exchange rates are holding up well. Despite this, forecourt prices are still too high, with the margin on diesel having risen from 3.48ppl in March to 7.65ppl today. This is an increase of 123% or more than the August duty rise.
This issue that will not disappear but, approaching it in common sense way will go a long way to helping increase spending and subsequently increase GDP.
“We must tackle this issue head on”, Geoff Dunning concluded. “Only then will we see an increase in GDP in the next quarter.”