Britain’s ability to move goods around the world without additional cost or red tape must be a priority for the Chancellor, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) said in its submission to HM Treasury before next month’s Autumn Statement.
FTA welcomed the Government’s recent announcement to back a third runway at Heathrow, which will be vital for maintaining and developing global trade links following Britain’s exit from the European Union.
But the Association says Brexit negotiations must ensure that UK goods are no more expensive to export and are not burdened with more red tape. The logistics sector must also be able to access employees from outside the UK, particularly in light of the industry’s staff shortages.
FTA made its submission ahead of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s first Autumn statement on 23 November.
Karen Dee, FTA’s Director of Policy, said: “The Chancellor must ensure that UK businesses remain competitive as we move towards exiting the EU. This means minimising the burdens placed on businesses moving goods around the world so that British goods are no more costly to export nor burdened with more red tape.
“But beyond this, it means delivering an economic and fiscal environment at home which allows businesses to thrive. The logistics industry operates on relatively low margins and is currently experiencing a shortage of skilled labour. The Chancellor could provide a real boost by reducing fuel duties; looking again at the implementation of the Apprenticeship Levy to ensure that it better meets businesses’ needs; and enhancing investment in our key transport infrastructure networks.
“The UK economy relies on logistics – we hope that logistics can rely on Government.”
FTA’s submission also calls for:
- A 3p per litre cut in fuel duty
- Re-instating the duty differential for used cooking oil as a bio-fuel in commercial vehicles
- Protection of the Roads Investment Strategy
- Protection of funding for the rail Strategic Freight Network
- Enhanced revenue budgets for improved maintenance on strategic and local authority roads network
- A policy framework & funding for new and improves roadside facilities for drivers