Darling Disappoints

In his first major statement to the House of Commons, the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, was a ‘disappointment’. So says the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association. “This was about cross-party-politics and not about setting the right conditions for business,” says John Lewis, the BVRLA’s Director General. “The reality is that business needs to be able to plan for the long term, while this statement deals with short term issues and seems more concerned with trying to confound opposition policies.

“We are pleased that, at last, the Chancellor has seen fit to recognise Employee Car Ownership schemes for what they are – genuine ownership schemes. However, while he has removed the threat of treating them for benefit in kind, we are still enormously concerned that, two years on, we are still awaiting the outcome of the AMAP review. It is inconceivable why, after so long and despite the amount of evidence provided by the industry, the government is still keeping us in the dark. There is no further information that the government could possibly want in order to come to a proper conclusion. The industry has been totally open and informative and now is the time for a decision that will allow industry to get on with its work – that is making money for UK plc.

“The increase in benefit in kind for private fuel will make a further disincentive to run higher polluting vehicles and that will at least be of some help to the environment.

“Failure to detail the long awaited changes to Corporation Tax allowances serves merely to underline our disappointment in the overall statement. Like AMAPS, the government has all the information it could possibly want at its disposal. We completely fail to understand the reason for any further delay. This is potentially a major change to the way that the industry operates and which deserves a more grown-up approach, one free from the all too often seen inter-party rivalries of this government. We need an end to the guessing game that is being forced on to us by this approach.”

p> 10 October 2007 Staff

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