Osborne hints at fuel duty halt

8 March 2011

A cut in fuel duty rises could be on the cards after Chancellor George Osborne promises to "find a way to help" struggling families.

Delivering a speech at the Conservative Party's spring conference in Cardiff the chancellor said: "When it costs £1.30 for a litre of petrol; £80 to fill up a family car; I know people feel squeezed. And I say this to people watching:
I hear you."

He went on to hint at a potential cut: "We've got another of the Labour Party's pre-prepared rises in petrol tax also coming this April - one penny above inflation. I won't take risks with economic stability, or wreck public finances.

"But I promise you I am doing everything I can to find a way to help."

Save £500 on your petrol bill

The coalition government has come under increasing pressure to ditch a further 1p rise in April.

Petrol prices are hitting record highs with some motorists having to pay £1.40 a litre, while the average price for one litre of unleaded petrol is £1.31, according to PetrolPrices.com.

Rising costs at the pump are blamed in part on the political unrest in oil–rich regions pushing up the price of oil as well as the VAT rise, adding nearly 3p to the cost of a litre of petrol.

Making "things worse"

A survey from professional advice website unbiased.co.uk reveals that, fuel duty is the tax Brits would most like to see abolished.

And speaking in response to news that unleaded petrol has hit the £1.30 mark, shadow Treasury minister, Kelly McCarthy said that the coalition government was making "things worse":

"George Osborne should take immediate action to help hard-pressed families facing record prices at the petrol pumps by reversing the VAT rise on petrol - using the extra £800 million from the bank levy this year."

"And in the Budget George Osborne should look again at the annual fuel duty rise due in April."

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