The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has published a report that aims to dispel myths that a fuel duty stabiliser would be too complicated and expensive to implement.
In the same week as fuel cost protesters lobbied the Treasury to scrap a rise in fuel duty planned for April 1 and consider measures to stabilise the cost of fuel, the FSB has responded to critics’ claims that a fuel duty stabiliser is not the way forward.
The introduction of a fair fuel stabiliser, which would act to bring down the proportion of tax paid on fuel when oil prices rise, is one of the requests at the heart of the Fair Fuel UK campaign, which is backed by The Fuelcard Company, the Road Haulage Association and the Freight Transport Association.
Now, the FSB has attempted to bust myths surrounding a fuel duty stabiliser in an official report, arguing that such a mechanism would be simple, affordable and crucial to allow businesses to plan.
According to the FSB paper, by basing the stabiliser on the oil price cycle, the level of fuel duty could be calculated against a trend price for oil. This would then be adjusted at regularly timed intervals following changes in the oil price cycle. Therefore, setting the level of the stabiliser would be straightforward: fuel duty would be X pence per litre minus a proportion of the difference between the current oil and trend oil price.
John Walker, FSB national chairman, said: "Critics have said that the fuel duty stabiliser is too difficult to introduce. The FSB does not agree. We know that high fuel prices are having a huge impact on our members, hampering growth and in turn the economy at large. It is vital we see action now.”
Last month, The Fuelcard Company described a fair fuel stabiliser as “a lifeline for small and medium sized fleet businesses whose survival is hanging in the balance”.