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Truck bosses warn against tax hikes

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Hard-pressed consumers will pay the price of any higher taxes on the transport sector, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has warned.

It says that the Treasury must think carefully before raising fuel duty to plug holes in the public finances caused by bank bailouts and the global financial turmoil.

Said chief executive Theo de Pencier: "To apply an increased tax burden through fuel duty or vehicle excise duty may seem to the Chancellor like a quick fix for the Government's financial problems.

"But the reality is that those costs will be passed on to shoppers who, like everyone, are feeling the effects of the credit crunch."

The FTA said it was calling on Chancellor Alistair Darling to make an unambiguous commitment to decouple duty applied to diesel for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) from that of other road users.

Said Mr de Pencier: "As a former transport secretary, the Chancellor well knows the difference between the essential journeys made by HGVs and those undertaken by other road users.

"We are not looking for a handout, more an understanding from him, and the Government as a whole, that the logistics industry keeps the UK economy moving, literally and figuratively."

© The Press Association 2008