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Budget 2018 : Initial commentary

Written by | Posted on 29.10.2018
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MattDyer

Responding to the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget, Matt Dyer, Managing Director of LeasePlan UK, said:

On the economic outlook

“Britain’s impending departure from the EU is causing a great deal of uncertainty – and that was reflected in Philip Hammond’s Budget speech. However, we believe that the fleet industry is well placed to overcome this uncertain period and grow into the future. Not only have we accounted for over half of all new car registrations this year, but we are also at the forefront of the shift towards cleaner motoring.”

On the increase in highways spending

“Back in the July Budget of 2015, George Osborne reformed Vehicle Excise Duty so that all the monies raised would go towards improving the country’s road network. With the £28.8 billion confirmed in today’s Budget, Philip Hammond is simply delivering on that policy – but we’re grateful to him for that, as well as for the additional £420 million he’s found for filling in potholes. The UK’s road infrastructure is ranked just 26th in the world, well behind comparable economies, so this extra spending is a necessity not a luxury.”

On Company Car Tax

“What is it going to take for the Chancellor to reveal the rates of Company Car Tax for 2021-22 and 2022-23? We used to know these rates for the next five years, but now the Government seems determined to keep fleets and motorists in the dark. This is terrible for businesses who are trying to plan for the future, particularly at a time when there is already so much uncertainty. Philip Hammond must rectify this as soon as possible.”

On emissions testing

“The transition to WLTP data for tax purposes could be costly for some drivers. Even the interim ‘NEDC-correlated’ data, which is currently being used, could raise emissions figures and push some vehicles into higher tax brackets. That’s why we’ve been calling on the Chancellor to help out – and, with his announcement of a review into the effect of WLTP on motoring taxes, it seems as though he may be listening. We now wait until spring to see whether he is really going to deliver on this promise.”

On Fuel Duty

“After Theresa May mentioned it in her party conference speech, the Fuel Duty freeze was no surprise – but it was still good to hear it confirmed in the Chancellor’s own speech today. However, even with the ongoing freeze, petrol and diesel prices have still risen significantly over the past few years. Perhaps, for his next Budget, the Chancellor might consider cutting Fuel Duty for the first time since 2011.”

Electric vehicle grants

“When it comes to grants for electric vehicles, Philip Hammond has allowed confusion to reign. Whilst we know that the 100% First-Year Allowances are continuing until 2023, the status of other incentives is far less certain. Only a few weeks ago, the Plug-In Car Grant was cut ahead of the expected time, whilst the home and workplace charging grants are set to disappear in March 2019. Today’s Budget offered no further clarity on these measures – which does little to help businesses who are trying to decide how to invest for the long-term.”

 


 

For further Budget commentary and details of the Finance Bill take a look at insights.leaseplan.co.uk/budget

 

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