Policy & Public Affairs Updates

This page contains some of the latest updates from UK Goverment, central Parliament and the devolved nations, on issues which may affect the hire industry, or be of interest to business in general.

Topics can include changes to the regulations on Red Diesel, updates on major construction projects or efforts made across our supported industries to adopt greener practices, and achieve 'net zero'.

If you have any questions and wish to speak to us about matters of government policy please contact our Public Affairs Manager Mark Bradshaw on 0121 380 4621.

Policy and Public Affairs Update for HAE EHA Members 24th March 2022

Chancellor's Spring Statement Announces Tax Cuts to Support Families with Cost of Living

The Chancellor delivered a Spring Statement, on Wednesday 23rd March, that puts billions of pounds back into the pockets of hard-working people, unveiling a new Tax Plan to ease the rising cost of living and to deliver the biggest cut to personal taxes in a quarter of a century.

An outline of the announcements can be viewed below:

  • There will be a tax cut for nearly 30 million UK workers through rise in National Insurance thresholds, saving the typical employee over £330 in the year from July
  • A fuel duty reduction on petrol and diesel by 5p per litre for the next year, and a £5 billion income tax cut from 2024
  • The statement also sets out measures to boost investment, innovation, and growth, including a £1,000 increase to Employment Allowance to benefit around half a million SMEs
  • The thresholds for paying NI will increase by £3,000 to £12,570,  bringing it in line with personal income tax thresholds from April
  • The government will consider increasing the generosity of RDEC to boost R&D investment in the UK
  • To support businesses to invest and grow, the temporary £1 million level of the Annual Investment Allowance has been extended to 31st March 2023 
  • To encourage more capital investment, the Government are reviewing the current regime of capital allowances ahead of the Autumn Budget, including looking at the impact of the super-deduction
  • Introduction of Zero VAT on Energy Saving Materials (ESM) such as heat pumps insulation and solar panels 

Ahead of the end of the super-deduction, the government will work with businesses and other stakeholders to consider cuts and reforms to best support future investment. With UK employers spending just half the European average on training their employees, the Chancellor said he will examine how the tax system, including the operation of the Apprenticeship Levy, can be used to encourage employers to invest in adult training.

The Spring Statement 2022 Business Support Factsheet can be found here.

ONS Report Outlines Price Movements in Plant Hire Since 2019
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released an article which examines the price movements that have occurred in construction materials and equipment hire between 2019 and 2021, and anaylses the causes behind them. The report includes a brief overview of UK construction projects, and construction input and output levels. Click here to read it in full.
Updated 20th October 2021

Energy and HGV Driver Pressures Continue
The global rise in gas prices has prompted the UK Government to respond, particularly in regard to major energy intensive industries. Increases in energy prices will impact on hire businesses using gas to heat offices and depots. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is working alongside the Treasury to formulate an official response.

The national HGV driver shortage means there is still pressure on petrol and diesel supplies in parts of the UK, and the cost increases will have an impact on fleet operations. A report on road fuel prices is available here.

On petrol supplies, the key factor is the availability of suitably qualified HGV drivers. Measures to recruit new and suitably qualified HGV drivers will take time and re-mobilising retired or returning drivers is not a quick process.
Updated 12th October 2021

Red Diesel Replacement Competition Funding
Applications are now open for funding as part of Phase 1 of the competition, which seeks to develop low-carbon alternatives to red diesel. To find out more and apply click here.
Updated 11th October 2021


New Measures to Ease Fuel Supply Chain Pressures
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has worked with other government departments to issue an update on the current pressures on access to fuel supplies and further measures to help. Click here for the report.
Published 30th September 2021

Government Reshuffle for England
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is making some new government appointments, click here for updates.
Published 16th September 2021

Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline Report Published
The Infrastructure and Projects Authority and HM Treasury have published an Analysis of the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline 2021. This now includes a look ahead at planned construction projects and an assessment of workforce demand. Click here to read the paper.
Published 16th September 2021