Haulage boss Caroline Moody is calling on the government to maintain the current lower price of diesel over the next 12 months to stimulate the country’s economic recovery.
She is urging chancellor Rishi Sunak to reduce the amount of fuel duty to compensate for any increase at the pumps, as prices begin to rise once more.
With most UK goods carried by road, such a measure would keep transport costs low, stimulate production, and provide an economic boost for businesses and consumers alike.
The low cost of diesel during lockdown – from a low of 111p per litre in early June to the current average of £117p – did ease the financial burden placed on the haulage and logistics industry as it overcame the challenges of COVID-19 to keep the country running.
Caroline, who is managing director of Moody Logistics and Storage, based in Cramlington, Northumberland, said: “Maintaining lower diesel prices means cheaper transport costs which would be directly passed on to both businesses and consumers, bringing positive and wide-ranging benefits to the economy.
“Everything we eat, use or wear has at some point been transported, so fuel taxes affects everything we consume. Therefore, maintaining lower fuel costs would have the widest possible benefits.
“Such a policy would also offset the effects of what is likely to be a prolonged period of low wage growth – by making incomes stretch further.
“It would also reward those businesses that are producing in-demand goods and would encourage higher outputs which, in turn, would lead to the creation of more jobs.
“In the UK fuel duty on diesel remains by far the highest in the EU and this has a direct impact on the profitability and competitiveness of haulage companies. Logistics is the lifeblood of our economy and any return to high fuel prices in the short term would only dampen the recovery.
“It would also be a fitting tribute to all those key workers within the logistics industry who worked throughout lockdown to ensure this country was able to continue to function by protecting their livelihoods and creating some market certainty.
“I would urge the chancellor to seriously consider maintaining the lower cost of fuel, certainly over the next 12 months, as a simple and effective way of not only boosting the transport sector but the country as a whole.”