With the average price of petrol increasing by more than 55% in the last two years, reaching new record highs, the Chancellor has come under pressure to address fuel duty in today’s Spring Statement. There are predictions that fuel duty is likely to be temporarily reduced by 5p per litre, cutting the cost of filling an average family car by around £2.75, according to National World.

The construction industry is already being tested by labour shortages and rising material costs, and the upcoming abolishment of the red diesel rebate is yet another unwelcome challenge facing companies and contractors up and down the country. Banning the use of red diesel to fuel construction plant and machinery, such as bulldozers and cranes, will mean the sector will be facing a rise in operating costs of around 15%, with companies facing additional fuel expenses of between £100,000 and £400,000 per year – according to research commissioned by RMAS (Resource Management Association Scotland).

Fix Radio, the UK’s only radio station dedicated to builders and tradespeople, welcome the cut in fuel duty as it could signal the start of more general flexibility with the timeline for cutting emissions. However, they urge the government to go further, by delaying the red diesel ban that is set to come into action on the 1st of April as part of their net zero commitments.

Clive Holland, presenter on Fix Radio, shares his thoughts on the costs of fuel and the upcoming red diesel ban:

“They haven’t discussed [the change] with people in the front line. If there was someone in Government who could turn to other ministers who knew what the industry was like, but there isn’t. To actually change systems of motors to either electric or having to scrap the existing vehicles they’ve got or switch it to biofuels, that isn’t easy.

“We’ve also got this situation where the construction industry has had big problems getting materials into the country. We’ve had price hikes in timber for instance, even up to 80 percent at one stage. These are all tiny little stresses and strains that push [workers] over the edge.

“In light of this new economic situation, I am writing to ask that HM Treasury reviews the impact assessment undertaken on this policy to ensure it meets its environmental objectives whilst at the same time protecting small and medium businesses.”

With an audience of 400,000 tradespeople, Fix Radio – the UK’s only radio station dedicated to the trade – has established itself as a trusted voice within the industry.

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