Release Date: 28 November 2008
Release ID: 153
The British International Freight Association (BIFA) – www.bifa.org - believes that taken overall, the moves announced in this week’s Pre Budget Report (PBR) seem to be giving to its members with one hand, but taking back more with the other.
As such, the PBR is nothing more than a curate’s egg, says Director General, Peter Quantrill. “Partly good and partly bad, but quite probably entirely spoiled. “The bad bits are effectively unpaletable and are not entirely redeemed by the good bits,” he says.
The trade association for UK forwarders has given a cautious welcome to the news that from next April, the Government will increase the threshold for empty property rates relief to exempt those with a rateable value below £15,000.
However, Mr Quantrill says it will only provide short term benefits to some of BIFA’s member companies as the increased threshold is only temporary and doesn’t take effect for almost six months. “We reiterate our demand that the Government reinstate empty property rates relief completely, he added.”
Furthermore, BIFA believes that the decision to increase fuel duty sends a very negative signal to freight forwarders and other businesses whose services are so highly dependent on fuel and play such an important role in the UK economy and international trade.
Adds Mr Quantrill: “Many of our members operate on the tightest of margins and BIFA is looking to the Chancellor to put our members in a better position to both facilitate international trade and compete on a level playing field with foreign competition."
BIFA also welcomes the decision to abandon per-plane tax aviation proposals, which Mr Quantrill says would have been a further blow to its members who offer airfreight services. He adds: “We also welcome the news that an extra £1billion will be invested in major transport projects next year including £300million of funding to speed up the delivery of improved transport links to key UK airports and ports.
“Nonetheless, the PBR is a curate’s egg and we repeat our call for the government to show that it really wants to support, not hinder, the activities of our members.”
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