BIFA, the British International Freight Association [www.bifa.org], says that there was little in today’s Budget that was of specific relevance to the freight and logistics services undertaken by its members in support of the UK’s international trade.
Robert Keen, BIFA’s Director General says that BIFA’s members will be concerned by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s warning that storm clouds are gathering over the global economy, with an outlook that is materially weaker.
“Any softening in the global economy is likely to have a material impact on visible trade, which is the lifeblood of our members.”
BIFA welcomed the news that the freeze in fuel duty would remain, but Keen says it doesn’t mean that the trade association will stop asking for an outright cut, the introduction of an essential user rebate and some form of fuel duty stabilisation mechanism.
BIFA was also disappointed that Osborne did not expand upon the transport capital spending increase that was announced in last year’s Autumn statement.
“Back in November 2105, BIFA welcomed the news that funding would be provided for the largest road investment programme since the 1970s, but it would have been good to hear more good news on this front given that a lack of spending has caused the country’s network of A roads and motorways to become congested, undermining the UK’s competitiveness in comparison to its international peers.
“The earmarking of £230 million for road improvements in the north of England, including upgrades to M62, feels like a drop in the ocean compared to last year.”