Fuel help for SMEs

Published:  12 April, 2010

UK: With prices at the pump reaching a record high, the Forum of Private Business has joined forces with The Fuelcard Company to help small businesses reduce their fuel costs.

The average price of fuel has now reached 119.9/litre, topping the previous high of 119.7p reached two years ago. In some areas prices, are much higher and analysts have warned that they could reach as much as 150p/litre over the summer.

Despite the Government's decision to stagger a planned hike in fuel duty prices the rising cost of fuel is hitting struggling businesses hard, the Forum is warning.

Already, increases in VAT and fuel duty between December 2008 and April 2010 have boosted the Government's fuel tax take by 12.5%. Cost increases on this scale are unsustainable for small businesses at the best of times, let alone in periods of recession, said FPB.

Following this month's 1p rise, FPB is calling for the further two increases announced in the Budget – 1p in October and 0.76p scheduled for next January – to be scrapped.

Said FPB’s policy representative, Matt Goodman: "Following a prolonged period of decline, we are at the beginning of a crucial stage in the UK's economic recovery. Small businesses will play a central role in this recovery and must be given a tax environment in which they can thrive. Spiralling fuel duty is jeopardising small business growth and the planned increases should be shelved."

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