In today’s Spring Budget (8th March 2017) Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered a budget that he promised will “take forward our plan to provide Britain with a brighter future.”
Mr Hammond opened his budget by stating that Britain’s growth in 2016 was second only amongst the major advanced economies to Germany, and this budget will build the foundations for a stronger, fairer and more global Britain.
Chancellor Hammond chose this Spring Budget to pledge his support to innovation, disruptive technology, improved road networks and further devolved power to allow the country to capitalise on the opportunities that lie ahead.
Highlights for the logistics and transport industry include:
• Freezing for another year, both the VED rates for hauliers and the HGV Road User Levy
• Support for 1,000 new PhD places and fellowships, focused on STEM subjects
• £270 million to keep the UK at the forefront of disruptive technologies like biotech, robotic systems and driverless cars
• £16 million for a new 5G mobile technology hub
• Improving transport with the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF)
• £690 million competition for local authorities to tackle urban congestion and get local transport networks moving again
• £220 million fund that addresses pinch-points on the national road network
• Further devolution to London
• £90 million pledged to the north of England for Transport
• £23 million investment in the Midlands Engine Strategy.
Commenting on today’s budget Kevin Richardson, Chief Executive, CILT said: “The Government’s commitment to investing in improved road networks is indeed welcomed. As the pace of innovation continues, the Chancellor’s pledges to keep the UK leading the drive for disruptive technologies is something I believe our profession can be leaders within.
“Mr Hammond’s continued support for devolution is crucial as we continue to spread economic growth throughout the country. Our transport networks and infrastructure must be developed and our logistics hubs appreciated to reflect the importance of the North and the Midlands to keeping our society and economy growing."