Dominic Browne 03 December 2014

Autumn Statement: Osborne announces transport tax boost

Chancellor George Osborne has announced a few transport tax give-aways among major infrastructure plans designed for the next parliament including continuing the freeze in fuel duty.

The freeze has been in place since 2011 and in the Budget of 2013 the policy showed an immediate £480m cost to the Exchequer while sustainable transport charity campaigners have argued the cash is needed for reinvestment in public transport.

However with the Labour’s new shadow transport secretary Mr Dugher suggesting he would end his Party's percieved war on the motorist, stating ‘the Government can’t see the motorists as a cash cow, too often there’s that mentality’ and adding attacks on motorists were ‘offensive' it appears the policy of reducing costs at the pump has been a political winner.

Mr Osborne also announced that children would be exempt from tax on economy flights. This will apply for under 12s on flights from 1 May 2015, and for under 16s from 1 March 2016.

The Treasury estimate this would save an average family of four £26 on a flight to Europe and £142 on one to the US. Airlines must list charges separate from taxes on tickets.

Mr Osborne also reiterated his commitment to a Northern Powerhouse with better connections between the main cities of the North.

He added ‘my door is open to other cities who want to follow [Manchester’s] lead,’ opening up the potential of more local deals on transport and infrastructure powers as we saw earlier this month in the North West.

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