Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Fuel cost protesters lobby Treasury

Quentin Willson delivers a letter to Chancellor George Osborne

Protesters against high petrol prices have taken their campaign to Whitehall, urging the Government to abandon its planned fuel duty increase.

Led by TV presenter Quentin Willson, a delegation from the FairFuelUK campaign lobbied the Treasury and handed in a letter addressed to Chancellor George Osborne.

The letter urged him to abandon a planned April fuel duty increase of 1p a litre and to announce measures to bring down and stabilise the cost of fuel.

Mr Osborne later dropped a heavy hint in the Commons that he may introduce action to ease the burden on motorists, telling MPs there would "potentially" be announcements on the situation in next month's Budget.

The FairFuelUK campaign is backed by the Road Haulage Association (RHA), the Freight Transport Association (FTA), the Fuel Card Company and the RAC as well as other businesses, trade bodies and members of the motoring public.

After the protest, campaign organiser Peter Carroll said: "The whole nation has to get behind this campaign to help boost the economy, which is being hurt by high fuel prices. Scrapping the planned April fuel duty rise is a start, but we need a long-term solution."

Theo de Pencier of the FTA said: "It is within the Government's gift to loosen the noose from around the industry's neck but this will only happen if we all come together and make our voices heard."

Friends of the Earth's transport campaigner, Richard Dyer, said: "Motorists are paying the price for the failure of successive governments to wean our transport system off its addiction to oil."

RAC motoring strategist Adrian Tink said: "For many of Britain's 34 million drivers, travelling by car is not a choice - it is a necessity. That fact needs realising and it needs acting upon."

While at the Treasury, the delegation unfurled a banner showing a picture of a fuel tanker set out as a graphic which indicated just how much of the price of petrol and diesel is made up of Government fuel duty.

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