Vehicle taxation and law on corporate manslaughter puts a strain on businesses

More than half of companies (53%) claim that government legislation such as the Corporate Manslaughter Act and CO2 based vehicle taxation has put a strain on their business.

According to the Lex/YouGov survey of financial directors regarding the impact of Budget 2008 legislation on fleet and UK business, 56% of financial directors, controllers and chief financial officers surveyed did not feel that they received adequate notice from the government for implementing the changes to duty of care and corporate manslaughter, as well as changes in CO2 based vehicle taxation.

Company car tax will be increased on all but the cleanest of cars, which emit less that 135g of CO2 per kilometre in 2010.

However, according to the report almost half of respondents (42%) have no intention to make vehicles more environmentally friendly over the next six months and 57% did not think that making their fleet greener would attract new business. In addition 32% felt that they had not received adequate notice from the government to implement the necessary changes to their business vehicles.

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, which came into force from April this year, makes it easier for employers to be prosecuted should one of their drivers have a fatal accident, but the report shows that only 47% of respondents reported that their company had policies or procedures in place to ensure that it met its duty of care responsibilities to employees in light of the Corporate Manslaughter Act.

The problem of rising fuel prices is also posing a problem for financial directors, with more than a third (34%) claiming that if the fuel price hits £2 a litre, they will be forced to make redundancies.