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The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle across the UK, comments on the Autumn Statement and the government’s commitment in supporting the economy of the country in the wake of Brexit.
Infrastructure and roads
The Chancellor has announced that the Government will spend £1.1 billion to decrease congestion and upgrade local roads and £220 million to tackle “pinch points” on strategic roads. The Government’s decision to invest £1.3 billion to improve UK’s roads and transport networks will be essential as it will make UK business more productive and assist consumers by making roads safer. The reduction in congestion will also improve journey times, which will benefit the UK economy, particularly the commercial vehicle sector.”
The Chancellor has now stated that he is determined to cut it to 17% by 2020. A cut in corporation tax will be a clear signal of Government’s pledge to reassure businesses and help them face possible short term challenges. We are pleased to see that the Government is committed to reducing it to 17% from 20% by 2020.”
Low emission and connected autonomous vehicles
Franchised dealers welcome the news of a £390m spend to build on the UK’s competitive advantage in low emission vehicles and the development of connected autonomous vehicles. With an increasing number of electric vehicles on the roads, franchised dealers are best placed to service these vehicles in the future.
The Chancellor announced that the National Living Wage will be increased to £7.50 an hour from £7.20, from April 2017. The National Living Wage rise encourages disposable income growth, which in turn plays a key role in supporting consumers’ confidence. It is vital for NFDA members and other big retailers that households continue to feel safe in committing to purchase high value goods. Nevertheless, this will bring more costs for businesses which are already facing extra costs due to the apprenticeship levy and increase in employers’ national insurance contribution.
Fuel duty freeze
Mr Hammond announced that the fuel duty freeze will remain in place. This will support motorists in a period of uncertainty due to the oil price rise and the fall of the Sterling.