Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Fuel tax cut 'good for economy'

Quentin Willson said he was pleased at the way the minister listened to the group's arguments

Cutting fuel duty will boost the UK economy by creating many thousands of jobs, campaigners have told the Government.

This forecast was presented to Treasury Minister Chloe Smith when she met members of FairFuelUK which is backed by the RAC and freight organisations.

The prediction was contained in the initial findings of a report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research. The report showed that a cut of 2.5p per litre would create 180,000 jobs in the first year, at no net tax loss.

FairFuelUK said that a bolder 5p cut would cost the Exchequer around £1 billion, a figure likely to be offset by intangible benefits of increased confidence, and which would create another 30,000 jobs. A 2.5p cut will boost GDP by 0.33%.

National spokesman for FairFuelUK Quentin Willson said: "We've been saying this all along and now we can prove it. This conclusively backs up our claim that a cut in fuel duty will boost the economy without harming Treasury revenues. Quite rightly, the Chancellor's priority is on stimulating growth in order to pay down the deficit. Here is a way to do both."

He went on: "The Government now needs to embrace these findings and follow through on the 1p cut they made last year."

The meeting follows the publication of another set of figures - obtained by Tory MP Philip Davies - indicating that in Britain, taxes and duties account for 60% of the price of petrol and 58% for diesel.

After the 30-minute meeting with Ms Smith, Mr Willson emerged to say he had been pleased at the way the minister listened to the group's arguments and that she promised to look at the full report from the Centre for Economics and Business Reserch when it was presented to her on Friday.

Mr Willson said: "She was very interested in what we had to say. This is a virtuous campaign that will benefit everyone in the country. Families are faced with an unsustainable burden thanks to high fuel taxes, and rising world oil prices are only going to make the situation worse.

"We want the Government to rethink the whole fuel tax regime. We were heartened by the fact that the Government asked to see us. I don't think this was political grandstanding. I think they want to help."

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