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26 July 2017

Air Quality Plan lacks clarity and direction for small businesses

Responding to today’s announcement on the Government’s Air Quality Plan, Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, said: “Today’s announcement is light on the detail and still leaves many small businesses in the dark, particularly regarding any potential diesel scrappage scheme.

“For many small businesses, the vehicle they use and rely on plays a vital role in their business activities - whether it’s transporting people or good and services. These businesses invested in diesel vehicles in good faith on the back of guidance from multiple Governments - and are now being told that this investment could be worthless.

“Government needs to acknowledge this investment and put in place an air quality plan that will fairly compensate businesses which have invested in diesel and one that helps support them transition to zero emissions vehicles.

“Government cannot shirk responsibility on this issue by passing the buck onto Local Authorities. If the UK is to tackle air quality in our towns and cities, Government must lead from the front and put in place a national strategic plan that guides and supports Local Authorities. As part of this, there must be detailed analysis of the impact of air quality proposals on smaller firms and how these can be mitigated. The only way this can happen is if there is thorough and extensive engagement with the small business community at all levels.”