Budget Fuel Duty Rise Must be Scrapped, say Business Groups

Small firms cannot afford another increase in fuel duty – that’s the message from business groups, following research which highlighted that 60% of small firms would be unable to absorb a further hike.

With the price of unleaded petrol hitting a record average of 130p per litre and reports claiming that a further fuel hike may be announced in the Budget on 23rd March, business groups have called for a freeze on fuel duty.

Research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has predicted that 10% of small firms would have to lay off staff to cover the cost of a further fuel duty rise.

FSB national chairman, John Walker, said that the Government needed to provide a stable environment for small firms to grow:

“With the downgrading of GDP in Q4 2010, it’s clear that the economy is in a precarious position and small firms that lack confidence in the business environment will find growth risky.”

Walker added that the Government must show small firms it is serious about supporting growth, as well as keeping to its manifesto promise and introducing a fuel duty stabiliser.

Small-business owner, Sally Miller, founder of Sally’s Same Day Courier Services, said that another rise in fuel costs would stop her from expanding her firm.

“I used to fill my tank up for £48 and now I pay up to £65, which is £1.37 a litre. I rely on fuel as my business is a courier service, and I often travel long-distance to Surrey, Glasgow and Edinburgh from Blackpool. I’d hate to think of my business shutting down because I couldn’t afford the fuel.”

However, following pressure from MPs and a petition from the Fair Fuel campaign, the Prime Minister David Cameron said he would look at easing fuel duty.

Responding to the business groups demands, an HM Treasury spokesman that small firms could still propose reforms to be included in the Budget by visiting HM Treasury’s Budget Representation page.

Budget Fuel Duty Rise Must be Scrapped, say Business Groups

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