Autumn statement ‘welcomed’

Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Statement as chancellor has been welcomed by RMI Bodyshops.

As expected, the chancellor committed to reforms to compensation for whiplash in a bid to cut the cost of motor insurance. Jason Moseley, director of RMI Bodyshops (NAB/VBRA), said, ‘We welcome the chancellor’s announcement to tackle the whiplash epidemic, and plan new reforms will crack down on minor, exaggerated and fraudulent claims.

‘The news means that millions of motorists could see their car insurance premiums cut by around £40 a year as a result.‘

Changes to personal allowances, rising to £11,500 (currently £11,000) in April 2017 and a reduction in the rate of corporation tax to 17% by 2020 were also highlighted by RMI Bodyshops as positive moves. Jason said, ‘This will mean a higher disposable income for consumers and in turn will be good for businesses.’

The statement also cancelled any fuel duty rise for seventh year in succession – at a cost of £850m, saving the average car driver £130 a year. LeasePlan UK’s managing director, Matt Dyer said, ‘Now in its seventh year the freeze on fuel duty is a welcome boost to UK households and businesses. Not only will this help UK motorists, it will also be a continued reprieve to those who work in logistics, with light commercial vehicles expected to save an estimated £350 per year.’

Other areas directly related to the automotive sector include an extra £1.1bn set aside for investment in English local transport networks and tax savings on salary sacrifice and benefits in kind are to be stopped, with exceptions for ultra-low emission cars, pensions, childcare and cycling.