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In summary, the Autumn Statement promised greater investment in roads and cheaper insurance for motorists alongside a general promise of growth and a decline in national debt.
A crack down on fraudulent claims in motor insurance
The government then announced plans to help insurance companies deal with minor road traffic collisions, to include new legislation that could save the average motorists around £40-50 per year on car insurance policies.
The government said it was determined to “crack down on the fraud and claims culture in motor insurance”, with claims for whiplash adding an average of £90 to motor insurance premiums and costing the country £2 billion.
The government claims its new measures will “end the cycle in which responsible motorists pay higher premiums to cover false claims by others” and remove over £1 billion from the cost of providing motor insurance.
Diesel surcharge suspended to 2021
The Chancellor opted to postpone the reassessment of 3% company car benefit-in-kind (BIK) diesel surcharge until 2021, a disappointment for those who drive diesel company cars and were expecting that, of April 2016, there would be an uplift in benefit.
£60 billion rise in transport funding
Despite the day-to-day spending by the Department of Transport falling by 37%, Osbourne promised there would be more money spent on improving the nation’s infrastructure to include a £60 billion rise in transport funding to aid “the biggest road building programme since the 1970s”, the electrification of key railway links, the commencement of construction on HS2, and a quarter of a billion to address the issue of Operation Stack on the M20 in Kent.
Three million new apprenticeships by 2020
Furthermore, the Chancellor has promised three million new apprenticeships by 2020 and has set the apprenticeship levy at 0.5 per cent of an employer’s overall wage bill, but a £15,000 allowance for employers will mean that the levy will only hit those dealers with payroll costs over £3 million.
Fuel duty freeze continues
Fuel duty has been frozen for a further 6 months in a bid to continue to reduce the cost of motoring. Quentin Wilson from Fairfuel UK commented:
“We are grateful to him for the continuing freeze that’s lasted 5 years. But let’s not forget the UK motorist remains the highest levied tax contributor in Europe. He could have been more courageous for the economy’s sake and cut it by 3p.”
Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealer Association, said; “The RMI supports the levy in the context that apprentices will now have the right levels of funding to ensure quality training and development to grow into highly skilled technicians. Government money alone could not have funded this. We still need further answers for SME’s, as they make up the vast majority of the UK’s car repair businesses.
“It is also beneficial that the removal of the diesel supplement from company cars will be delayed until 2021 ahead of the new EU testing regulations, and that Ultra-low emission vehicles will continue to be supported,” she added.