Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

Autumn fuel duty rise scrapped

Chancellor George Osborne scrapped the planned fuel duty increase

Hard-pressed motorists received some good news when Chancellor George Osborne scrapped the fuel duty increase planned for autumn 2013.

The rise would have put around 3p a litre on to the already-high price of petrol and diesel at the pumps.

Mr Osborne's announcement, which had been widely expected, was welcomed by motoring groups.

AA president Edmund King said; "A September fuel duty hike would have been the last straw likely to break UK drivers' budgets and would have led to a summer of discontent.

"The scrapping is a pragmatic move and will bring some relief at the pumps. Already 76% of AA members are cutting back on journeys, household expenditure or both, due to the high cost of fuel."

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "This news provides breathing space for families being smothered by the soaring costs of motoring, especially the 800,000 households spending more than a quarter of their income on operating a vehicle.

"Through this move the Chancellor will lose about £1 billion a year in duty and VAT income, but tens of thousands of people will be saved from being forced to give up their cars against a backdrop of generally rising running costs.

"It is welcome that George Osborne has listened to the concerns of the nation's 35 million motorists about the inflammatory issue of near-record pump prices."

Miranda Schunke, spokesperson for breakdown company Green Flag, said: "We welcome the Government's decision: "Household budgets are already being stretched to the limit with the spiralling cost of living. While the cost of motoring is a constant concern, it will be a relief to millions of motorists that there is some respite against the escalating financial burden of owning and running a car."

FairFuelUK spokesman Quentin Willson said: "This is welcome news for families and businesses across the UK as far as it goes. It is a sign that the Government is listening, but there will be widespread disappointment that the cancellation of this duty rise gives them no immediate relief from climbing fuel prices. Cancelling a rise that really shouldn't happen is not enough. The Government needs to cut duty substantially to get the economic growth we all need."

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