Chancellor George Osborne has released the 2016 budget, and its not all bad news. Against expectations, fuel duty was not raised but frozen once more, keeping prices stable for logistics companies, a cost that could have been passed onto the consumer.
With the basic price of fuel being at an historic low, raising fuel duty might have seemed like quite a painless option for the Chancellor; but any increase would have been reflected in increased fuel surcharges by delivery companies, which would have increased the cost cost of delivering items more expensive, hitting SME traders the hardest.
More than £230m has been earmarked for road improvements in the north of England, including upgrades to M62 and upgrades of A66-A69. Congestion in the North of England increases delivery times and unnecessary emissions. The new infrastructure improvements will help UK couriers speed up deliveries while further reducing the industries carbon footprint.
The halving of the toll for the Severn crossing may be reflected in reduced costs sending items to and from Wales.
There was good news for SMEs and online marketplace traders. The annual threshold for small business tax relief is to be raised from £6,000 to a maximum of £15,000, exempting 600,000 firms. Additionally the headline rate of corporation tax – currently 20% – is to fall to 17% by 2020.
It should be noted that the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) based its growth figures on continued membership of the European Union. ParcelHero’s research suggests leaving the EU would add 30% to the price of an average item sent from remaining EU countries.