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.

Start Quote

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 41.

    We're driving fewer miles, we're driving more fuel efficient cars (as we're encouraged to do) therefore HMRC's coffers are suffering as a result. Year on year revenue for VED and Fuel Duty, if current rates remain unchanged, will fall, it's inevitable. So go on, buy newer, greener cars, you'll end up paying the same for the privilege in the end.

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    Frankly we need the revenue. It has been put off at least a couple of times, the Treasury is not seeing a proper recovery of revenue and we all are facing rising costs. To balance this, oil companies need to pay more corporate tax, large companies need to actually. It doesn't matter if it is truth or not - but the perception that the rich and large companies getting 'away with it' is not helping!

  • rate this

    Comment number 39.

    60% of the price of fuel is tax, so why is there a pre-planned rise year-on-year when it's already way too high? Using environmental issues as an excuse for green taxes is nonsense - when you prove that climate change is man-made, then maybe.

    But where's the alternative? Govt did nothing to research alternatives for years, suddenly they whack tax onto fuel, restricting freedom for real people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    The sooner they put the TRUE cost of the roads back onto those who use and abuse the road the most the better.
    HGV's should be paying well over £50 a litre, White van man £30 litre, Reps £20 a litre, commuters travelling over 5 miles to work £50 a litre.
    Alternatively have a sensible, co-ordinated, transport infrastucture where roads are NOT the be all and end all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    Drivers are getting it in the neck, fuel duty, high oil prices, VAT @ 20%, motor insurance premium tax, police out to catch motorists driving a few miles over the speed limit instead of doing real police work. Constantly driving over dangerous potholes because the roads just don't get repaired.

    If its the government's intention to drive people off the roads, then its working

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    It should be doubled, with the haulage industry claiming some back, so plp will stop buying with these fuel guzzling vehicles imported SUV's.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    In times of austerity, oil companies made FIVE TIMES the profit margin of the industries they are supplying. In a country where people are being told that “we’re all in this together”, this looks suspiciously like ‘all for us and none for you’.

  • 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 33.

    It is not a delay we need, it is the removal of all Taxes from Road Fuel.

    Why is it taxed at the point of sale?

    The Oil Extractors pay a Tax (Licence) to extract it
    They then pay a Tax to bring it into the country
    The Refineries pay a tax when they process and sell it.
    Then it is TAXED again.

    WHY ?

    1 Commodity 1 Tax

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    The biggest problem facing the world is not the economic one but the environmental one and particularly climate change. The free market and low energy costs will not tackle that, so we must continue on the path of reducing energy consumption with increased tax on it's use, painful as this is, it pales into insignificance against the damage that climate change could cause.

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    23. Stuart
    Yes why don't we all wish ourselves higher incomes so we can afford to pay more tax. Why can the government just legislate that we all become millionaires and tax us accordingly?
    Talk about economic illiteracy. Ever heard of inflation?

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    # 16. Spot on!

    In my opinion, once the level of duty/tax the Goverment takes on any item rises above 50% of the price of said item, then that item ceases to be a consumer product, and becomes a TAX.
    Fuel is a necessity for almost every household in the country and as such, the Goverment can increase their TAX called Petrol or Diesel at will - and we WILL pay it regardless.....!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    We need to reduce the cost of living so that the money we receive in pay goes further. If we can get the cost base down we will not end up in an inflationary wage spiral as workers demand higher wages to compensate. The notion that fuel is escalated to persuade us not to buy it does not wash; the argument for green behaviour needs to be persuasive so that our behaviour changes voluntarily.

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    There are three factors influencing fuel prices.

    The cost of extraction - getting more expensive as oilfields age.
    The tax applied by the chancellor.
    Speculation on the commodities markets.

    Two can be controlled by the government; tax by a freeze and speculation by a Transaction Tax.

    Mr Osborne's difficulty is that doing so would upset his rich chums in the city.

    So the country comes second.

  • 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

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    People are worrying about the cost of petrol and cutting back on unnecessary car journeys? That's a GOOD THING, we're supposed to! Just because the topic of the day is now the economy rather than the environment, that doesn't mean the threat of climate change has gone away. It's still the biggest threat facing us all and collectively we have to reduce our dependence on wasteful carbon emissions!

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    The last time we increased fuel duty we hurt the economy and the tax take went down as people were forced to drive less. Who thinks doing this again is a good idea?

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    Force the poor off the road I say so I don't have them clogging up the road when I'm out driving. Thank god for this 'we are all in this together' party.

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    Surely we could all afford this rise in fuel duty if it came along with a rise in incomes..
    The minimum wage should be brought up to the living wage immediately. It would give those who need it the extra pocket money that would kickstart this economy. Not to mention bring a couple of million people out of the benefit catchment income.

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    High taxes on fuel are a drag on the economy - not a boost. Fuel tax also hits lower wage earners disproportionately.

    This government clearly wishes to wage war on motorists, particularly with their ill-conceived plans for road tolls.

    If they do not change direction on this, they will be heavily punished at the next election.


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