That’s the plea from the RHA, the organisation representing the operators of thousands of commercial vehicles responsible for keeping store shelves stocked, front-line healthcare workers supplied with PPE, and getting fuel to filling stations so that millions of motorists and other essential service providers can carry on working. But while they endeavour to keep things going for the rest of the population, they themselves are really struggling.
Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “Last April, as COVID-19 tightened its grip on the UK, we asked industry as a whole to how it was coping. The results were startling – 50% of the UK’s trucks were laid up as a result of contracts ending due to the virus and drivers being laid off, or furloughed.
“Those able to carry on picked up a lot of the slack and although it was never a case of ‘business as usual’ they did their absolute best to ensure that the UK didn’t go without.
“For an industry that has to make every single penny count, the effect of a duty increase of just 1p per litre will be devastating and will mean the end of the road for many operators.
Howard Cox of FairFuelUK said: “Rishi is risking political suicide by breaking Boris’s promise to the nation that duty would not be hiked.
“The way forward out of this economic quagmire is to incentivise not punish the very people who are at the heart of any commercial recovery. Any rise in fuel duty would generate extraordinarily little revenue, but most certainly would risk jobs, hike inflation, and stagnate business investment with the poorest catastrophically hit hardest.
“This anti-driver Government sees the world’s highest taxed drivers as the easy target! We will be fighting for UK’s 37m drivers every step of the way to get Fuel Duty reduced, and at worst, remain frozen, so more money is put back into consumers’ pockets, small businesses, and the vital haulage industry.”