IEMA reacts to UK government's spring statement

23rd March 2022

IEMA has called on the UK government to invest more in low-carbon transport following its cut to fuel duty in today's spring statement.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced this afternoon that fuel duty for petrol and diesel will be slashed by 5p per litre from 6pm tonight – a tax cut worth £2.4bn – despite environmental concerns.

The move has been driven by the cost-of-living crisis, with the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) announcing earlier that living standards are set for a historic fall over the next 12 months.

Moreover, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is forecast to push inflation to a 40-year high of almost 9% as energy prices soar.

IEMA CEO, Sarah Mukherjee MBE, said: “While we recognise the need to address the cost-of-living crisis and the 5p/litre cut in fuel duty, a key medium-term test of the government’s climate change ambition will be whether it invests more in lower-carbon transport including walking and cycling.”

Today's spring statement also sets out a series of measures to help businesses boost investment, innovation, and growth – including a £1,000 increase to the Employment Allowance, benefiting around half a million smaller firms.

Furthermore, the chancellor said that he will examine how the tax system – including the operation of the Apprenticeship Levy – can be used to encourage employers to invest in adult training.

VAT on energy-saving materials such as solar panels, heating pumps and roof insulation will also be cut from 5% to zero for five years to help families become more energy efficient.

Mukherjee continued: “We welcome the chancellors' announcement that the government will incentivise investment in skills, training, and research and development, which will create opportunities to unlock further private sector funding to accelerate the UK towards a net-zero future.

“IEMA will work closely with the government and industry to ensure green skills are central to this programme. The removal of VAT on home energy efficiency and renewables is also a positive step that supports the net-zero transition and enhances our energy security.”

Image credit: Shutterstock


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