Fleet Evolution, one of the country’s fastest-growing salary sacrifice car scheme providers, is hailing George Osborne’s latest Budget as ‘pro-business’ and ‘pro-motoring’ after a range of new measures that focus on roads, motoring and fuel.
In the Budget announcement, which took place this week, the Chancellor confirmed that there will be further fuel duty price freezes, which is good news for drivers everywhere – plus the introduction of a brand new fund for highway maintenance, which will come directly from new road tax proceeds. This is the first time road maintenance and tax have been linked, and many in the fleet industry are thrilled.
The announcement comes after a nerve-wracking few weeks for salary sacrifice experts, after rumours that the Chancellor would tackle salary sacrifice in his summer Budget. There was speculation that Mr Osborne would impose tighter restrictions on salary sacrifice, but the Chancellor has decided to focus on tax avoidance rather than tax efficiency.
Andrew Leech, Director of Fleet Evolution, says, “The new Budget was definitely a pro-motoring one – we feel the Chancellor has definitely recognised the positive effect cars and fleets have on the Treasury’s accounts! Tax loopholes allowing umbrella companies to offer tax savings will be closed, and we’re thrilled that salary sacrifice schemes will remain untouched.”
He adds, “With the fuel duty price freezes and the brand new Roads Fund that is set to overhaul our crumbling highways and motorways, motorists and fleet managers across the country will be rightly thrilled with these elements of this year’s Budget.”
The Roads Fund will be a major benefit for businesses that rely on the country’s highways to turn a profit. With Britain’s roads facing a £12bn repair backlog in the local sector alone, urgent action was needed to get them on the road to recovery, as it were. All money raised from a new Vehicle Excise Duty in England will be put towards sustained investment in the country’s roads – tax paid will be used to improve the roads people drive on, in what many people see as a sensible and logical measure.
MOTs have also been addressed, in a move that will impress fleet managers. The government will be consulting on extending the deadline for cars and motorbikes to have their first MOT from three years to four – which could save the UK’s motorists in the region of £100m per year.