Chancellor Freezes Fuel Duty and Fills Potholes

In an Autumn Budget that announced an end to austerity whilst maintaining fiscal discipline, the Chancellor provided some positive news for the road transport industry.

First and foremost was a ninth consecutive freeze on fuel duty and a welcome  £420m investment in the UK’s crumbling road network.

Elsewhere, with an eye on helping independent retailers, there was a one third cut in rates for high street businesses with a rateable value of £51k or less. To level the bricks and clicks business playing field further, he introduced a 2% on digital services businesses.

With effect from April 2019, there will be a rise in the National Living Wage – up from £7.83 to £8.21. In an effort to smooth the negative effects of Universal Credit there will be an additional £1bn over the next five years.

Personal tax rate thresholds will increase from April 2019; the basic rate threshold will start at £12,500 and for higher earners, from £50,000.

There was some assistance for schools, who will be receiving an additional £400m to help them pay for essential ‘kit’.

On the environmental front, truckers and the rest of us buying a take away coffee won’t face a ‘latte levy’. But there is a new tax to be introduced on the manufacture and import of plastic packaging.

On a more flippant note, the Chancellor announced a business rate relief for public lavatories. However he refused to become ‘bogged’ down in the detail and suggested that it was the only Budget announcement that hadn’t been leaked.