The Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) has criticised the Government’s new economic policy and called for a more stable approach by Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng.
While welcoming any economic growth, AFP said it cannot occur at the expense of stability for businesses.
Paul Hollick, AFP chair, said: “In just a matter of days since the new Prime Minister and Chancellor put their economic ideas into effect, we have seen the markets become deeply disorderly with just about every credible economic commentator saying more will follow.
“It’s a situation where exchange rates are falling, bond interest rates are shooting up, inflation is likely to continue to increase and interest rates will be forced to rise. This will help create a scenario in which fleet managers will be tested to the extreme.
“We seem likely to experience fleet operating costs increase in terms of almost everything that fleets need – from parts to servicing to the vehicles themselves. The cost of transporting people and goods therefore looks set to rise substantially. Perhaps only petrol and diesel prices will fall in the coming year but even that is not certain.
“The Government argument against this backdrop might be that the growth for which they are aiming will outpace the pain we are seeing. I would very much be very pleased to be wrong here but it seems unlikely that will be the case given the evidence so far.
“Like any part of the business world, we want to see growth and we recognise its importance but that can only come against a backdrop of relative strength. Fleets and the businesses they serve need stability. We do not currently have that.
“The fleet sector is an essential part of industry in the UK and, as its trade body, we do not take a political stance. This is not a political comment. But our businesses need better.”
AFP’s response joins a growing number of business groups and business leaders who have reacted critically to the new Chancellor’s first ‘fiscal event’.