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Fuel hike has hurt everyone’

PUBLISHED: 15:42 19 March 2008 | UPDATED: 09:35 23 August 2010

A HAULAGE firm boss has revealed he now pays 22 per cent more for the price of his fuel than he did this time last year. Len Vasler, boss of LV Transport, Norfolk Road, Gravesend, now spends £50,000 a month on diesel, and claims some haulage firms are st

A HAULAGE firm boss has revealed he now pays 22 per cent more for the price of his fuel than he did this time last year.

Len Vasler, boss of LV Transport, Norfolk Road, Gravesend, now spends £50,000 a month on diesel, and claims some haulage firms are struggling to cope with the rise.

Chancellor Alistair Darling announced the 2008 Budget on March 12, ruling there would be a two pence increase in fuel duty in October.

Mr Vasler said: "I'm glad he did put the increase off until later in the year, but there was a reason for this, the cost of diesel is going up by two pence a litre anyway because of the rise in the price of crude oil.

"If he had announced that fuel duty would rise by two pence, there would have been a public outcry. It would have been such a big increase that everybody would have been upset.

"It just keeps rising anyway. It's not good for us, for all the other freight transport companies, for commuters on trains, bus services and taxis. The price always goes back to the customer."

The Freight Transport Association has welcomed the deferment in the two pence a litre until October, and estimate it will save the industry around £140 million,

However, they say that since January 2007, diesel prices have increased from 74p per litre to the current 92p per litre. They will be seeking a further deferment until after October 1.

Mr Vasler added: "We are one of the few freight transport firms left around here. We are managing well at the moment, but others are not so lucky.

"We hear of firms around here and across Britain that can't compete with this continuous rise, they are forced to sell up.

"The government are trying to squeeze money out of anywhere they can. It's not only fuel, the price of everything is going up. Pubs are even shutting because of it."

Among the other announcements, cigarettes have risen by 11p for a packet of 20, beer has gone up by four pence a pint and wine 14p a bottle.

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