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News in brief

01 August, 2004
Page 4 
The deferral of Septemberís petrol duty increase is good news for petrol retailers and will relieve the anxiety created by rising oil prices during the past few months, said Ray Holloway, director of the Petrol Retailersí Association. The Government has announced that the fuel duty increase due to take effect on September 1 will be postponed and looked at again in November.
Government plans to introduce business rate relief for small businesses will be well received by the Retail Motor Industry Federationís smaller members, said Matthew Carrington, chief executive of the RMIF.The strategy, which is intended to ease the rate burden on small businesses, was revealed by local Government minister Nick Raynsford last month.Under the suggested scheme, rate relief will be available at 50% for business properties with a rateable value of £5,000. The relief will then decline on a sliding scale as rateable value increases, reaching no relief at a value of £10,000. According to new figures from fleet and fuel management company Arval PHH, 67% of company cars now run on diesel.The figures show a significant and continuing move towards diesel Ė the number of diesels acquired by Arval for its business customers has risen by 16% from the same period two years ago.