Keeping the wheels rolling

Posted on 8 Dec 2009 by The Manufacturer

The automotive industry has called on Alistair Darling to keep current support measures and abstain from implementing more regulation, ahead of the Chancellor’s Pre-Budget Report.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) published an open letter at the beginning of this week ahead of Darling’s Pre-Budget Report tomorrow (Dec 9).

The SMMT says private demand should be aided by keeping VAT at 15 per cent into 2010 and deferring the third stage of increases to DVLA first vehicle registration fees.

It wants companies to have their enhanced writing-down allowance increased to 60 per cent in order to stuimulate commercial car sales and says the expensive car cap in the tax system of £80,000 should be reinstated.

The organisation then called on government to increase its efforts on low carbon vehicle and infrastructure research, step up biofuel programmes, and speed up the release of cash through the Automotive Assistance Program (AAP).

“The Pre-Budget Report provides an important opportunity to sustain the recovery and support the longer-term competitiveness of the UK motor industry,” said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

“It is essential that existing support schemes begin to deliver more quickly and help to encourage investment in R&D, skills and productivity. Measures that help to signal a long-term commitment to manufacturing and help to stimulate key parts of the market will boost business confidence and the attractiveness of the UK to inward investors.”

Car sales increased more than 57 per cent last month to 158,082 units. Of these, 21.6 per cent were sold via the scrappage scheme.