Given this is the first post-Brexit budget, the Chancellor should use the Government’s Brexit freedoms to make changes to support businesses in the hard-hit transport & logistics sector on the road to recovery and protect jobs. We do not feel that this budget would be the right time to increase tax rates. The danger of doing so could put more freight forwarders and other transport operators at risk, given how much their businesses have been impacted by the chaos at the borders.
What does the Transport & logistic sector want to see this budget?
We would like to see a revised tax regime that promotes innovation and capital investment. This will help in positioning the UK as a place that companies in Transport and Logistics will want to stay, invest and grow.
Continue the freeze on fuel duty
This is a direct cost to operators and one which, at the current time and given the fragile nature of the whole supply chain, would be dangerous to wind back on the previous freezes.
Provide financial and green incentives
The Government has well publicised environmental targets, and at some point will need to incentivise companies to move towards greener fleets to achieve this. Now is the time to be pushing forward with this as we seek to recover out of the pandemic.
How could the chancellor help with skill shortages and unemployment levels?
Most importantly though is that alongside this there is an ongoing skills shortage and higher than usual levels of unemployment.
People may need to re-train to find new work and the employers or individuals require support from the government to do so. This applies to the HGV drivers but also to those involved in dealing with customs clearance and warehouse operations.
As we drive towards a more digital/online economy with less high street shopping, Transport and Logistics will be a key sector to support the country’s supply chain, and the Government should recognise this fact and provide the necessary incentives.