Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Government ‘all over the place on fuel duty’

The Government has been accused of being “all over the place” on fuel prices after Chancellor George Osborne said he was looking at the possibility of overriding the 1p rise in fuel duty due to come into effect in April.

The Government has come under pressure to scrap the rise as the cost of a litre of unleaded soared to almost £1.30 thanks to high global oil prices and a VAT hike to 20%.

Fuel duty already eats up 58.95p per litre, on top of VAT of more than 20p. Labour chancellor Alistair Darling announced a 1p rise this April in last year's Budget. Asked during a visit to the West Midlands yesterday whether he could do anything about the planned duty hike, Mr Osborne told BBC WM radio: “We can override it, we are looking at that.”

But the Treasury later played down the suggestion that Mr Osborne had an intention to scrap the rise.

Labour’s Maria Eagle, shadow transport secretary, said: “Each week ministers raise expectations of action but they've still done nothing.”

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