Tag Archive | "government"

IAAF BOSS: GOVT. MUST HELP THE AFTERMARKET

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IAAF BOSS: GOVT. MUST HELP THE AFTERMARKET


The IAAF has called on Government to implement a number of measures that support both individuals and businesses of ‘all sizes’ in the aftermarket.

After the recent announcement that positive measures will be put in place to support independent SMEs, IAAF has issued letters to a number of government departments, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, urging for more help for the entire automotive aftermarket supply chain.

The federation has also urged that the thousands of delivery drivers, who are vital during this difficult time, should be categorised as ‘key workers’ to enable their children to have access to day care, where available.

Chief Exec Wendy Williamson outlined the scale and size of the automotive aftermarket and how the crisis affected all within the supply chain including parts suppliers, distributors, garages, service centres and workshops.

As a sector the independent automotive aftermarket is worth £21.6 billion, supporting nearly 350.000 jobs representing 42,000 outlets across the UK.

Wendy Williamson has written to the Chancellor

Concerned about how the issues will affect the automotive aftermarket, Williamson,  said in the letter: “I want to stress that we have many companies and individuals who are facing significant challenges and there is more need than ever to keep drivers on the road so that infrastructure can remain as stable as possible.”

IAAF has urged the government to introduce a range of measures for both individuals and businesses including support for those working reduced hours; temporarily not working due to falling demand; support for temporary lay-offs; statutory sick pay relief; extending business rate relief to all businesses; extending the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to any business, irrespective of size; and offer scope to include delaying payment for VAT, National Insurance Contributions and PAYE.

Williamson continued: “Whilst the health and welfare of our members and their employees is always of paramount importance, we need to work together to protect the industry. The time to act is now, as we need to have the procedures in place to ensure the industry can continue to survive during the current crisis.”

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COMBUSTION CAR SALES COULD END IN 2032

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COMBUSTION CAR SALES COULD END IN 2032


Transport Secretary Grant Shapps

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has told the BBC that the proposed date for the ban on the sale of new combustion-engined cars could be brought forward another three years to 2032.

The deadline for new petrol, diesel and hybrid sales had been posted at 2040, before a shock government announcement last week advanced the plans by five years. Mr Shapps’ comments today will frustrate industry bodies like the SMMT, which labelled the 2035 proposal ‘extremely concerning’.

Mr Shapps said the forceful shift to electrification would happen by 2035, “or even 2032” in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live. He also confirmed that the government will launch a consultation on the feasibility of such a tight turnaround.

READ: UK GOVERNMENT DOUBLES EV INFRASTRUCTURE FUND

It is not a complete surprise; when Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the 2035 date last week, he said combustion-fuelled cars would be taken off sale as soon as possible.

The move comes ahead of an international climate summit in Glasgow in November, at which global leaders will discuss ways to bring down emissions and slow down climate change. The UK is working towards a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The SMMT has repeatedly stated that the government’s emissions targets are unrealistic and impracticable.As long ago as 2018, CEO Mike Hawes said: “The 2040 target is challenging enough; but to achieve market-wide penetration of zero emission vehicles by 2032 is virtually impossible without a massive upgrade to the national charging infrastructure and the reinstatement of a world-class package of incentives to encourage uptake of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.”

He reaffirmed his beliefs last week, when he accused the government of having “moved the goalposts for consumers and industry on such a critical issue”. He notes that EV vehicles still make up just a fraction of new car sales, and the government has sent mixed messages with the withdrawal of its plug-in car financial incentive.

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GOVERNMENT CONSULTING TO BAN OLD TYRES

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GOVERNMENT CONSULTING TO BAN OLD TYRES


The Department of Trade has agreed to begin consulting on various options to ban tyres which are over ten years old on buses, coaches, HGVs and minibuses, according to Tyre safety campaigning group Tyred.

The campaign group say that the government decision, announced on 26th February, is the result of seven years of lobbying and has called it a ‘significant breakthrough’ for campaign leader Frances Molloy, who lost her son Michael, aged 18, in a 2012 coach crash on the A3 in Surrey after the vehicle’s 19-and-a-half year-old tyre exploded. Driver Colin Daulby, 63, and Kerry Ogden, 23, were also killed.

Transport Minister Jesse Norman confirmed the government’s decision, stating he wanted ‘to pay tribute to Frances Molloy and her team at Tyred for their impressive campaign against older tyres on coaches and buses.’

Frances Molloy said: “I recently received a call from Jesse Norman and former Transport Minister Chris Grayling to say that the consultations will now take place with the next anticipated step being the acceptance and commencement of legislation making the ban Law.

“We are all very proud at Tyred to be able to effectively change the law in memory of Michael, Kerry and Colin,” she concluded.

 

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SMMT PRESIDENT: ‘CONCRETE PROGRESS’ NEEDED ON BREXIT

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SMMT PRESIDENT: ‘CONCRETE PROGRESS’ NEEDED ON BREXIT


The 101st SMMT dinner was interrupted before it had even started by Greenpeace protesters who managed to get on stage with a ‘Toxic Air award’ for VW. It was clear from the outset that this was going to be a politically charged event.

Mike Hawes, Tony Walker and Jennifer Saunders at SMMT Dinner 2017

Greenpeace invaded SMMT Dinner to present VW with ‘Toxic Air Award’.

Tony Walker delivered speech about the need for ‘concrete progress’ on Brexit

 

Following an introduction by Jennifer Saunders, SMMT Chief Exec, Mike Hawes took to the stage to talk about what he saw as the dangers of ‘demonising’ diesel. “Customers are not moving straight from diesel to electric. They are switching to petrol or are staying put in their older cars” he said, adding that the decision in the budget to increase tax on diesel cars leads to a falling market and a, conversely, rise in CO2 emissions. “This is not a policy without consequences. It has to stop” he said.

Business Minister, Greg Clark made a speech in which he acknowledged that the car industry was of ‘fundamental importance to the British economy’. He added that there was an industrial strategy in place, which ‘in many ways’ had been inspired by the motor industry.  

However, SMMT President Tony Walker warned of the dangers of a no-deal situation and a 10 percent tariff on exports. “Competitiveness comes hard-won. It can be easily lost” he said. “A hard Brexit would undermine all that we have collectively achieved. It is a real threat – a hurdle we cannot ignore.” He acknowledged that it was Government policy ’not to fall over a cliff edge’ but there needed to be evidence of ‘concrete progress – and quickly’.

Walker expanded that falling consumer confidence, uncertainty about Brexit and market confusion over diesel have taken their toll on sales domestically, and that the threat of trade barriers was putting the ‘export-led renaissance’  of the UK’s manufacturing base. “Our supply chains are integrated with Europe and well developed over time” he said. “We cannot disrupt them…We do not need trade barriers to be our next challenge”.

 

 

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AUTUMN STATEMENT: AFTERMARKET REACTION

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AUTUMN STATEMENT: AFTERMARKET REACTION


There have been a number of statements issued by trade bodies and businesses across the motor industry, following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

Fuel Price

A freeze in fuel duty was welcomed by most, including Charlie Elphicke MP for Dover and Chair of APPG for the Fair Fuel campaign. He said: “I’m delighted the Chancellor listened to the concerns of drivers up and down the land. He is absolutely right to put more money in the pockets of hard-pressed families and small businesses.”

Brian Madderson, Chair of the RMI’s Petrol Retail Assoc. also broadly welcomed the news. “In 2016 the freeze in duty boosted GDP by 0.57%, generated 112,000 new jobs and put £5.3bn back into hard working Brits consumer spending. It also bolstered tax revenues by 0.2%” he said.

“Trend volume sales in diesel have delivered a tax windfall to the Treasury of £1 billion and we will be looking to persuade the Chancellor to deliver an actual fuel duty cut in the Spring 2017 Budget”.

However, Madderson’s glee was not shared by TV presenter Quentin Willson who said: “I’m disappointed that the Chancellor didn’t instantly put money into everyone’s pockets by cutting duty. There’s an immediate benefit to the economy. I’m surprised too given the CEBR has said cutting duty by 3p wouldn’t change net tax receipts. This is a lost opportunity from a government still afraid of supporting drivers and roads”.

Infrastructure

The Chancellor pledged a significant amount for rebuilding the UK’s crumbling road network. This went down with most people, including contract hire firm LeasePlan’s MD Matt Dyer, who said: ““The vehicle rental and leasing industry contributes £24.9 billion a year to the UK economy and in 2015 the leasing industry accounted for half the number of new cars registered on the road. So this news will be especially pleasing for businesses, whose roads have suffered from poor organisation, congestion and pitted surfaces for decades. These roads are vital for the businesses that will power the country through years of lower-than-expected growth, so it is reassuring that the UK Government now views this as a priority.”

However, Dyer’s enthusiasm for infrastructure was tempered by a complex rule change regarding ‘salary sacrifice’, a mechanism where people can pay into a plan to lease a vehicle for work, a change that obviously affects the leasing sector.

SMMT also welcomed the infrastructure plans, but added a caveat. “SMMT welcomes the government’s commitment to improving infrastructure and investment in R&D, an area in which UK automotive punches above its weight” said Mike Hawes, Chief Exec of the Society. “We are, however, disappointed that the government has not done more on business rate reform. SMMT called for the removal of plant and machinery from business rates valuation, which would have helped encourage further investment at this time of great uncertainty”.

Motor Insurance

Jason Moseley of RMI Bodyshops was glad of plans to reform insurance claims, particularly those for whiplash. “We welcome the chancellor’s announcement to tackle the whiplash epidemic, and plan new reforms will crack down on minor, exaggerated and fraudulent claims” he said.

“The news means that millions of motorists could see their car insurance premiums cut by around £40 a year as a result”.

Whiplash claims have risen by 50% over the last decade, costing insurance companies about £1bn a year.

However, Ian Hughes, chief executive of Consumer Intelligence sounded a note of caution: “The first thing drivers should notice is a reduction in nuisance calls from predatory claims companies.  The need to produce medical evidence means that whiplash claims are no longer an easy and profitable for the “no win, no fee” market” he said.

“Drivers would also be wise to shop around to test whether their insurer is indeed lowering their premium in line with promises. There have been false dawns before. Insurers promised to pass on the savings when the LASPO (Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders) reforms came in three years ago. But when those reforms didn’t deliver the reduction in claims that insurers expected, rates rose again and are up 13.5% in a single year” he concluded.

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HOUSE OF LORDS LAUNCH DRIVERLESS VEHICLE INQUIRY

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HOUSE OF LORDS LAUNCH DRIVERLESS VEHICLE INQUIRY


House-of-LordsThe House of Lords science and technology committee has launched an inquiry into future uses of driverless vehicles in the UK.

This inquiry will collect evidence on the potential uses and benefits of autonomous vehicles in contexts such as road transport, farming and space exploration, according to the IAAF.

The committee is seeking written evidence from as wide an audience as possible and across a whole range of possible applications from cars to public transport.

Lord Selborne, committee chairman, said: “Rapid progress is being made in the development of these vehicles.

“Autonomous vehicles are being developed for a range of different purposes and have the potential to bring great benefits across a range of different sectors, for example in farming.

“We will examine what the Government is doing to support research into developing autonomous vehicles in the UK, as well as the real-world implications as these vehicles start to appear on the roads and in the work place.

“If the UK is to be at the forefront of this transport revolution, investment into research is vital to ensure the technology is perfected, allowing the public to embrace the use of autonomous vehicles.

“There are potentially considerable economic opportunities and public good benefits from this technology.

“We will look at whether the Government’s actions are appropriate in supporting these opportunities” he concluded.

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