THE Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) has written to UK chancellor Jeremy Hunt to urge the treasury to work with the plant hire sector to address industry concerns.
Sent ahead of next month’s spring budget, the letter states: “The CPA continues to have very real concerns over the challenges facing our members which have continued to mount over the course of the last year. The removal of the red diesel rebate in April last year, coincided with the unprecedented rise in fuel prices due in part, to the war in Ukraine. While prices have stabilised to a degree, high levels of inflation and wider economic uncertainty have all contributed to a challenging year for our members.”
The government has recently formed three new departments – the Department for Energy, Security and Net Zero; the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology; and the Department for Business and Trade. CPA chief executive Kevin Minton believes these new departments provides a fresh opportunity to focus on the issues that matter to the hire industry.
He said, “We welcome the creation of these three new government departments as they provide opportunities to focus on key issues for the plant-hire sector – namely competitiveness, decarbonisation and the ability to invest in new machinery and technology.
“With the economy narrowly avoiding recession according to the latest figures, it is vital the government works with our members and the wider construction industry to create the conditions needed to drive growth and secure our economic future. These new departments must be at the core of this process – action is needed now.”
In the letter to Mr Hunt, Kevin Minton urges the treasury to consider five key areas ahead of the budget on March 15:
- With the replacement of the Super Deduction Allowance (SDA) due to expire at the end of March, the CPA is calling for a replacement that includes the plant hire industry.
- A rebate for HVO for the construction sector, to help offset the price rises and incentivise companies to move away from fossil fuel powered plant.
- Retain the cut in fuel duty and resist calls to raise it back to its previous level.
- Remain committed to HS2 and other planned infrastructure projects such as Hinkley Point C.
- The government should publish its response and act on the findings of the Chris Skidmore net zero review as soon as possible.