Fuel duty delay called for by Which?

A driver filling up his car with petrol The rise in fuel duty was initially due to take place in August, but was delayed

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Consumer organisation Which? is calling for a delay to the increase in fuel duty planned for January.

MPs will vote on Monday on the planned 3p a litre increase. Labour has previously said the increase should be postponed until at least April.

Which? said 85% of people it surveyed had expressed concerns about rising fuel prices.

Richard Lloyd, Which?: ''The Chancellor has a real problem... if he carries on to introduce an increase in fuel duty''

Pollsters Populus interviewed 2,100 UK adults on behalf of Which? online between October 26 and 28.

The survey suggested 39% of people would cut back on motoring costs, while one in 10 said they had used savings to cover motoring costs.

Which? also said the figures showed 8.7 million households curbed their spending on essentials last month, while 6.4 million households used savings to cover outgoings.

The organisation's executive director Richard Lloyd said: "Rising fuel prices are the number one consumer worry and people are already telling us they're having to cut back and dip into savings just to get by.

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The government recognises that the rising price of petrol is a significant part of households' day-to-day spending”

End Quote Treasury spokesman

"On the back of inflation-busting energy bill rises and increasing food prices, consumers can little afford another hit on their household budget. We're calling on the government to think again about their plans to increase fuel duty in January.

"The forthcoming Autumn Statement must focus on measures that will help put money back in the pockets of consumers, because the economic recovery is at risk if we don't increase consumer confidence."

Previous delay

Shadow treasury minister Cathy Jamieson said: "Families, pensioners and businesses are still feeling the squeeze. Labour will vote on Monday for a delay in this fuel duty increase at least until next April."

The duty increase was originally to be introduced last August, but in June Chancellor George Osborne announced that he was postponing it for five months.

At the time Mr Osborne told the Commons the delay was being funded by what he called "larger-than-forecast savings in departmental budgets."

A Treasury spokesman said: "The government recognises that the rising price of petrol is a significant part of households' day-to-day spending.

"Since coming to office the government has listened to the concerns of motorists about high pump prices and acted. Fuel is now 10p a litre lower than under the previous government's plans."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    This tax takes money out of every consumers pockets, whether they drive or not. Train fares, coach fares rise, the prices of food, clothing and other goods increase to cover the hauliers costs.

    This is money that could be moving around the economy, creating jobs!

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    The govt needs a certain amount of dosh each year. It gets that dosh via the tax system. If it doesn't raise tax on fuel it'll have to raise taxes else where. So if you're against raising fuel tax it seems to me the onus is on you to say what taxes should be raised or what new taxes introduced.

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    Cut the Fuel Duty? Do so if you want, it's only putting off the inevitable. Oil is getting harder to extract, and demand for it is rising from the developing world. Clearly this cannot go on, and new oil reserves and shale gas will have minimal impact.

    Time to start properly investing in a low carbon economy. Otherwise we'll look back on the times of £1.30 a litre fuel with fondness.

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    Fine, delay the excise duty rise, even better, cut it by 50p! But where does the replacement revenue come from.

    A hike in VAT, VAT on food, cutting child benefit, cutting the armed forces, increasing income tax, road tolls, increased duty on fags and booze?

    None very palatable, but with such a large deficit the money has to be raked in from somewhere and fuel duty is easy and cheap to collect.

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    Can we not cap the amount of profit that can be made on petrol? As its such an essential to the working of this country we cannot sustain rising costs for working harder.
    I drive for a living... up and down the country and i can tell you. Its TERRIBLE out there. An overcrowded broken mess of a road system. The price for using this system (petrol, road tax, insurance) is unbalanced and unfair


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