Fuel prices are squeezing firms, director warns

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THE boss of a global logistics company has warned that fuel prices are squeezing businesses dry.

Frank Dixie, managing director of Segensworth-based PSP, has called on the government to reduce the amount of tax it collects on fuel.

His warning came a day after chancellor George Osborne announced a planned 3p increase in fuel duty per litre would be delayed until next August in order to help struggling firms cover their costs.

In Portsmouth, yesterday’s average fuel prices were reported as 131.8p for unleaded and, more crucially for the logistics and haulage industries, 140.8p for diesel.

But prices keep rising at the pumps, and Mr Dixie says enough is enough.

He said: ‘The constant increase in fuel prices is having a devastating effect on the logistics industry.

‘Fuel is an essential, therefore we have no choice but to pay these scandalous prices and pass costs on.

‘While the government’s announcement that it will cancel January’s planned fuel duty increase is welcome news, more needs to be done if companies across the UK are to survive and flourish.’

‘As a logistics provider that relies on fuel to transport boats and equipment around the UK and the world, we would like to see more measures being taken to reduce fuel prices in the long term.

‘We are currently paying more per litre to the government in the form of tax than the cost of the fuel production.

‘This needs to change.’

The Automobile Association welcomed the deferral of the duty rise on behalf of the millions of employees who rely on their cars to get to work.

AA president Edmund King said: ‘The chancellor has seen sense on this vital issue.

‘Cash-strapped drivers will heave a heavy-duty sigh of relief as current pump prices are close to the record high.’