Robert Goodwill, transport minister at the Department for Transport (DfT) on why the start of the HGV Road User Levy today (1 April) is about a fairer deal for UK hauliers.
Doing all we can to help UK businesses thrive has been the government’s priority since we were elected in 2010.
Since then we have cut red tape and provided support where it’s most needed and now we have done our bit for the UK hauliers by introducing the HGV Levy.
As we all know, foreign HGV firms have previously been able to put trucks on our roads without contributing a single penny in tax to the UK. They haven’t had to pay UK Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) as they pay it in their country of registration and, if they filled their tanks up on the continent, the chances are that they paid nothing in fuel duty because they didn’t need to refuel here.
Meanwhile UK hauliers were paying their share in tax and also paying tolls on many European roads whenever they delivered goods.
There was clearly an imbalance favouring foreign hauliers here and we were determined to address that.
The HGV levy will help level the playing field and ensures that foreign truck drivers pay their way. Not only that but, thanks to our determination to make things fairer, they will be paying their way a year ahead of schedule.
This is just one measure we’ve introduced to help UK hauliers because we have also ensured duty on standard diesel is lower than it was in October 2010 and there has been no increase in HGV VED during this parliament.
We are also investing £3.3bn in major road schemes which will provide over 500 miles of additional lane capacity to the strategic road network, plus another £10.7bn to add at least 400 miles of capacity on the busiest motorways.
I am delighted that the new levy has the support of so many UK hauliers and am confident it will give them a huge boost, giving them a much better opportunity to win business.
This is just another example of how we are taking positive action to back UK business and build a stronger, more competitive economy.