The 2012 Budget has been delivered by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and the automotive industry has wasted no time in hitting back at its policies.
Despite calls to abandon a three pence per litre rise in fuel duty in the run in to today's speech, Osborne and the Conservative government held firm, sticking with its plan to bump up the cost of fuel in August.
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When the new fuel duty hits the UK in august, the average price of petrol will hit 145 pence per litre with average diesel prices hitting 150 pence per litre at the same time.
The price hike will put further pressure on UK motorists as will the decision to make company car tax thresholds and policy much more stringent by reducing CO2 markers and increasing the taxable percentage of the official list price of a company car.
AA president, Edmund King, was one of the first to react today, brandishing the Budget a "blow-out which will force drivers off the road," in an article with the BBC.
FairFuelUK, a campaign group for fairer fuel prices in the UK, was predictably alarmed by Osborne's announcement, saying:
"Diesel is at its highest price ever recorded and this failure to act is a devastating blow to families and businesses. Poll after poll has set out that this is the number one priority for the UK. Millions of people and thousands of businesses will feel ignored," said Peter Carroll, FairFuelUK founder.
"We gave the Government evidence based on its own model that a cut in fuel duty would not cost it any revenue overall. Our supporters will be astonished that the Government has cut the 50p rate because 'it damages the economy' but will not tackle fuel duty when it's crippling the economy."
British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA)
The BVRLA was more measured in its reaction, praising the Chancellor's attempts to further reduce CO2 emissions among vehicle fleets but it fears the more stringent changes have come too soon to carry on the good work of the current thresholds in slashing high-emission fleet vehicles.
"[The] the Chancellor's enthusiastic efforts to drive down emissions-based capital allowances for company cars could be a step too far, too soon," said John Lewis, CE at BVRLA, predicting long-term effects for the fleet sector and the economy.
"The fleet sector is the only part of the new vehicle market that is still growing at the moment. It will adapt to the new tax regime as it always does, but these ambitious targets could bring a temporary stall to the market as businesses re-evaluate their fleet policies."
Lewis did admit that Osborne had "missed an open goal" in persisting with his fuel duty rises based on the probable public reaction of a call which will further tighten UK household purse strings.
Likewise, Lewis also criticised Osborne's electric vehicle (EV) policy by abandoning EV company car tax exemption.
"This measure could kill the electric car market stone dead. The only way out is for manufacturers to slash their prices, which they have so far refused to do."
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)
SMMT looked more towards the manufacturing policy set out in the 2012 Budget, pointing out the positive impact an increase in R&D and car production itself could have on the UK industry, in-turn stimulating the failing economy.
"The UK automotive industry is attracting major levels of investment and creating real opportunities for engineering and manufacturing businesses," said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive.
ATS, the car servicing and maintenance company, was more critical of the 2012 Budget, pointing out the possible effects of yet more costs being heaped onto the average UK motorist.
"The country cannot get back on its feet if the cost of fuel is continually dragging businesses and motorists back down," said Ian Stuart, Group MD at ATS.
"Today was a golden opportunity for the Chancellor to reach out to British business by scrapping the planned fuel duty increase. The Government could have used the additional tax generated by record fuel prices to offset the planned rise in duty. Instead, their decision strikes a bitter blow right into the heart of the economy."
The Road Haulage Association (RHA)
With vested interests in large trucks and haulage companies, the RHA was understandably frustrated with the 2012 Budget and its fuel duty announcement, despite Osborne also freezing VED rates for road hauliers.
"The Chancellor's decision to go ahead with this rise is not only disappointing, the reason behind it is hard to understand. We are struggling to achieve any growth and pump prices have reached record highs - yet he is driving fuel costs even higher," said RHA CE, Geoff Dunning.
"Diesel fuel is now the most expensive it has ever been - the RHA's weekly fuel price survey last week hit an all-time record high - and yet the Chancellor will be driving costs up by another £1,200 a year for a large truck - costs that hauliers must now set about trying to recover from their hard-pressed customers."