Logistics UK encouraged by Autumn Statement but needs to see the detail
Wednesday 22 November 2023
Today's (22 November 2023) Autumn Statement contains encouraging signs for logistics businesses looking to drive recovery in the economy, but according to business group Logistics UK, the detail of the Chancellor’s proposals will show whether or not the industry will see real changes as a result. Speaking about today’s speech, David Wells OBE, Logistics UK’s Chief Executive, says:
“The decision to make the current full expensing allowance for capital expenditure permanent is a welcome step that will support logistics businesses with long-term planning and investment. Our members are keen to identify if this change will include the cost of acquiring leased or hired vehicles, as well as those purchased outright. However, to support decarbonisation of commercial vehicle fleets, this allowance needs to go further to be able to be used to cover the cost of installing the energy infrastructure required to help the industry decarbonise, as our research shows this could amount to an outlay of up to £1 million per site – a prohibitive charge which will hinder the industry’s shift to net zero.”
News that the planning system is to be streamlined has also been welcomed by the business group, which has been pressing for changes to be made to enable logistics businesses to plan more efficiently for some time.
“Since our industry supplies every sector of the economy, it is vital that logistics is included as part of the overall planning process, not as a bolt-on afterthought,” continues Wells. “We will continue to press government to keep us at the heart of decision-making when it comes to business investment and development.”
Logistics UK continues to seek detail on how plans for Investment Zones and Freeports are to be implemented, as well as on ways the industry can be assisted on the route to decarbonisation.
“The devil of today’s announcement will be in the detail,” continues Wells. “While there are indications that the statement could boost economic activity, our members are concerned about how Freeports and Investment Zones could work for them. In addition, businesses still need clarity on the support government will be providing for the transition to a net-zero economy, and we will be working closely with them in the coming weeks to ensure the best possible outcomes to keep the UK trading, both domestically and internationally.”
Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With decarbonisation, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.