New research by the Automobile Association (The AA) has revealed that fuel prices are set to reach record highs in excess of £1.20 per litre of petrol.
Small businesses and sole-traders who rely on their vehicle for work have been warned to prepare themselves for the increase in price as well as the planned increase in fuel duty tax.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, announced that petrol duty would increase by £0.03 on 1st April 2010 in the last Budget. However, both the RAC and AA have urged Mr Darling to postpone the planned increase, saying that it would combine with existing supply issues to push unleaded petrol to over £5.40 per gallon.
Small businesses are expected to be impacted quite dramatically by the increase in duty which, in turn, is expected to harm their ability to recover from very difficult trading conditions.
The President for the AA, Edmund King, commented:
“The UK is barely out of recession, yet petrol prices threaten to rise to record prices seen during the boom of 2008 – shortly before the collapse into recession.”
Mr King went on to say that if those on fixed incomes or low pay were unable to cope with fuel prices before the recession then they will be even less likely to cope now.
Other issues impacting small businesses: