Sunak also announced investment in transport infrastructure, with £21 billion being invested in roads nationwide. Of that amount, £5 billion is understood to have been set aside for maintenance and repairs.
The Autumn Budget was largely focused on post-Covid 19 recovery, with investment aimed at growth, public finances and employment.
How has the car industry reacted to the budget?
The Asphalt Industry Alliance welcomed the funding for new roads, but Chairman Rick Green said that “at least” an additional £1.5 billion per year was needed “if the backlog of repairs [is to] be tackled and further decline prevented”.
Edmund King, AA president, said the Chancellor’s budget was “pragmatic”, and that it would bring “some ‘pump relief’, but the pain of record petrol prices remains. He adds: “Our research suggests that when fuel prices are high, lower income drivers cut back on general household expenditure, including food and heating, to keep their cars on the road. Freezing duty will help these drivers.”
The Petrol Retailers Association welcomed the freeze on fuel duty, but also noted that the cost of filling a 55-litre tank of fuel is currently £20 higher than in May 2020. The average motorist fills their car completely twice a month, so their fuel bills have increased by £40 a month over the past year.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said that although today’s budget included “some significant steps”, more was needed to help the motor industry. Chief Executive Mike Hawes said the budget was “a missed opportunity to support the many supply chain businesses which are suffering cash flow shortages due to stoppages arising from the semiconductor shortages“.
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