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ParcelHero says today’s Budget was an olive branch from Government that will reduce the strains on logistics companies.
The home delivery company ParcelHero says supply chain organisations have finally seen some positive help from the Government in today’s Budget.
The sector has been at odds with the Government in recent months, with ministers seemingly blaming the HGV driver shortage on a lack of investment by the industry. Freight transport bosses, in contrast, believe the shortage is down to the loss of 1.3 million so-called unskilled workers, including thousands of HGV drivers, after Brexit.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., says, ‘After a rocky few months, logistics and delivery companies have finally heard some positive news from the Government. Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget kicked off with an acknowledgement of the challenges facing the sector and the announcement of new measures that will aid freight transport companies and the many small retailers and manufacturers they serve.
Supply chains and deliveries
‘ParcelHero welcomed the Chancellor’s opening announcements on supply chains and freight transport. He confirmed relaxations on temporary visas and also announced new lorry park facility plans, an extension of the HGV levy through to 2023 and the removal of vehicle excise duty on HGVs.
‘Transport and infrastructure announcements made during the Budget will also improve the outlook for the sector. In all, £130bn of infrastructure spending was announced, with £21bn for roads and £46bn for railways, including a new integrated rail plan. There will also be £5.7bn for London Transport-style financial settlements for cities and regions across the UK.
‘The promise of £26bn for regional road upgrades is also welcome news and the further £5bn on buses and cycleways will help reduce congestion and speed delivery times.
‘The tax change to encourage shipping companies to the UK could attract more of the world’s largest shipping companies to UK shores. Ships flying the UK Red Ensign will pay less tax by paying based on the amount they carry, rather than the profits they make. The more firms within the UK regime, the greater the gain for the UK’s economy, with the shipping sector supporting more than 670,000 jobs.
SME businesses and retailers
‘New business rates changes are being introduced that the Chancellor claims will boost Britain’s beleaguered High Streets.
‘More frequent – 3 yearly – business rates revaluations could ease the burden for those companies paying too much on their properties. The 50% business rates reduction for retail and hospitality sector companies will be widely welcomed, though it is only scheduled to last one year. New business improvements relief will also take the pressures off SMEs businesses. In fact, the Chancellor claims that, alongside the Small Business Rates Relief, his measures mean that more than 90% of all retail and leisure businesses will see a discount of at least 50%.
‘The cancellation of the planned rise in fuel duty will also keep costs down for SME retailers and businesses. Additionally, there was also good news for tech companies investing in areas such as e-commerce. They will likely benefit from the pledged £22bn research and development investment (R&D) and further funding for Innovate UK.
‘Finally, promised improvements to the vexed visa system should help businesses that need to employ more oversees talent. The Scale-Up Visa system should ease the strain on tech and manufacturing businesses and ensure no more sectors come to blows with the Government over attracting enough skilled overseas staff post-Brexit.
‘That still leaves the driver shortage, which is an immediate problem, though it’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the impact of Brexit on the UK’s freight infrastructure. There are still many issues that the Budget has failed to resolve. ParcelHero’s in-depth analysis of the ongoing UK-EU trade problems can be seen at: https://www.parcelhero.com/research/brexit-study