Belfast Telegraph

Fuel receipts 'should show how much is tax'

Fuel receipts should show how much money goes to the taxman because the Government has a duty to be "completely up front" about how it raises cash, a Tory MP has suggested.

Peter Aldous wants motorists to be able to see exactly where every penny of the cost of filling up goes, with details shown on receipts and on forecourt pumps.

He believes such a move could help stop motorists from being seen as an easy target for taxation and potentially dissuade the Government from future increases in fuel duty.

The MP for Waveney will set out his plans in draft laws due to be debated in the Commons on Wednesday.

He told the Press Association that roughly 65% of the cost of fuel is tax in the form of VAT and fuel duty, which he labelled a "highly regressive form of taxation".

But he said "clear precedents" have already been set in terms of tax transparency, with people told where their council tax goes.

He said: "If government is not honest and transparent they will incur the wrath of the people and the population, and I think we do have a duty to be completely up front and honest and have a full debate about this, because ultimately I'm answerable to my constituents and if they and other colleagues' constituents are incensed by this, we have a duty to do something about it."

Mr Aldous believes if people knew where their money was going it would lead to prices at the pump changing more quickly when the price of crude oil drops.

"There is a concern that it's a market that is not functioning properly and fair to the consumer and that's again something we need to highlight," he said.

He added: "I think this also has the support of retailers because I think there might be a perception that retailers are making a significant amount of money on this but they are not and I think they welcome it for that reason."

He said the changes would also put pressure on the Government not to increase fuel duty in the future.

"I think that this is another focus to actually highlight, to reinforce the message that, if you like, the motorist should not continue to be used as a sort of Aunt Sally for raising taxation," he said.

Mr Aldous is bringing forward his plans using the ten minute rule motion parliamentary device which allows backbenchers to propose their own laws.

He does not expect his draft Vehicle Fuel (Publication of Tax Information) Bill to make it into law because "we ain't got enough time to get this through".

However, he hopes it will help raise awareness of the issue.

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