An election campaign that began with predictions of a Conservative mega-majority ended in something close to deadlock with the outcome being a hung Parliament.
This throws up a number of questions. Will May continue to be the leader of the new Government? What does it mean for Britain leaving the European Union? What does it mean for motorists and the fleet industry?
The answers to these questions will take some time to unfold. In the meantime, we still face a period of uncertainty. We cannot yet be sure what this election means for the fleet industry because we cannot yet be sure what this election means overall. We need to know the makeup of the next Government before we can talk about the policies that it may or may not introduce.
CCT and OpRA
This isn’t ideal for fleet professionals, but it is typical of the past few years. In that time, we’ve faced uncertainty from general economic circumstances and from the rise and fall of fuel prices.
We’ve also seen Government reviews into Company Car Tax (CCT) and Optional Remuneration Arrangements (OpRA) created a lot of questions for the fleet industry.
Air Quality Plan
Of course, the reviews into CCT and OpRA have since concluded, but doubt has been introduced elsewhere. Ahead of the election, you’ll remember, the Conservative Government published its draft Air Quality Plan, a document that was meant to give us a clearer idea of how diesel vehicles will be treated in future.
Except, as we pointed out at the time, it raised more questions than it answered. It simply told us to wait for the next Budget for any potential tax changes and appeared to pass responsibility to local authorities. It raised the prospect of a diesel scrappage scheme, but stopped short of actually proposing one.
New Coalition, new policies?
The courts have said that the final Air Quality Plan must be published by 31st July – but that was before the General Election. The Plan might still be published by that date, but what will it contain now? What joint policies will emerge from the new coalition that will make up our Government? Will the Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle 2020 tax breaks that were put on hold prior to election still be introduced? Will more concrete action on ‘Clean Air’ be on the cards?
What is certain is that news about the new Government and its policies will arrive at some point – and as soon as they emerge, we’ll report back here.
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