The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Road Freight and Logistics has launched an inquiry into the impact of fuel duty on businesses in the road freight and logistics sectors.
The commercial fleet industry has been one of the most affected industries by Covid-19, with demand for services (outside of retail food and medical supplies) falling to virtually zero.
Despite Government support (including the Job Retention Scheme) many businesses face a perilous future with insolvency a very real threat, says the APPG.
If the sector is to play its role in rebuilding and restarting the economy, then Government must address the challenges the industry is facing, it added.
The inquiry will investigate whether fuel duty will act as a barrier to the sector’s ability to recover from the pandemic and what impact that a cut or increase in fuel duty will have.
Sir Mike Penning MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Road Freight and Logistics, said: “Throughout the pandemic those haulage businesses who have remained operational have been unsung heroes of our national response moving vital goods and pharmaceutical supplies throughout the UK.
“These businesses have always operated on razor thin margins and the impact of the pandemic has been devastating, pushing many viable businesses to the edge of the abyss.
“We cannot have a full national economic recovery without a thriving road freight and logistics sector, and it is essential that the Government support this vital industry.”
He continued: “It is welcome that the Transport Secretary has recognised the outstanding contribution hauliers have made during the Covid crisis, now we need to make sure the Treasury is not acting as a barrier to its recovery.
“The Government must commit to removing barriers that delay our economic recovery and our inquiry will investigate whether fuel duty will tie hauliers’ hands as they look to play their vital role on our national recovery. “
The APPG is asking fleets to answer a confidential survey here. The inquiry will close on January 8 and will report at the start of February.