The fuel duty cut announced in the Autumn Statement has been welcomed by the Petrol Retailers’ Association. Chairman Brian Madderson said that after sustained lobbying, the message is finally getting through to Government of the vital place of road fuel in the budgets of both businesses and consumers, by cancelling the deferred duty rise of 3.02ppl on 1 January 2013. The increase with VAT would have pushed up pump prices by 4.00ppl.
He was also pleased that the·inflation-only duty rise on April 4, 2013, has been deferred until Septmeber 1, 2013; that SME’s have 10-fold increase in Capital Allowances for two years, which was one of the PRB’s recommendations for aiding the retail resilience among the smaller, often rural forecourts; and the· possible extension of the rural fuel duty rebate schemeHe.
"The Chancellor has also taken steps to help cash-strapped households and small firms including independent forecourt operators by deferring the “inflation only” duty increase due on April 1 next year until September," said Brian.
"Based on a projection of the Retail Price Index (RPI) by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), this could have led to pump price increases up to 3ppl before the economy had time to recover. Deferring the increase is a pragmatic decision but the PRA will continue to lobby to have this rise also cancelled.
"Changes to capital allowances will encourage investment by SME’s and we anticipate that petrol retailers will take advantage of the 10-fold increase available for a two year period.
"These are bold moves by a Government that has been listening and will receive robust support from our members.
Meanwhile the RMI, PRA’s parent body, made the following observations on the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement:
SMALL BUSINESS RATE RELIEF SCHEME
The RMI welcomes the extension of the small business rate relief scheme which will give some much needed benefit to smaller RMI members.
The news that corporation tax will fall to 21% in April 2014 will be welcomed by businesses across the UK. This is on top of the previous announcement that the small business rate will be cut from 22% to 20%, which will provide much needed relief to businesses and provide many with the opportunity to expand and hire new employees.
NEW BUSINESS BANK
The RMI sees the introduction of a UK business bank as a positive step towards restoring financial stability within small and medium sized businesses. A UK business bank will help businesses by addressing the existing problem plaguing these businesses – the ability to secure a loan. We hope the incentive will deliver on its promise and boost the amount of small and medium sized businesses that are able to loan money
The RMI have recently called on Government to increase the personal allowance so the news that personal allowance will increase to £9440 from April 2013 is very much welcomed. The RMI supports any initiative that will increase the amount of disposable income available to consumers.
ANNUAL CAPITAL ALLOWANCE
The increase in annual allowance for plants and machinery will help businesses that want to invest in capital items to help develop, update and expand their businesses. However this will only have limited impact for some of the motor retail sector as it will not help promote the sale of fleet vehicles or with the cost of showroom builds.
The RMI welcomes the general transport measures on fuel duty and road upgrades which will benefit road users across the UK. This is turn should have a positive effect on the vehicle market.