Fuel Duty: Chancellor Osborne Under Pressure
Chancellor George Osborne may bow to demands and delay a planned fuel duty hike amid fears it will hit struggling families.
Tory rebels had been planning to break ranks and vote with Labour in an Opposition debate on Monday calling for the 3p increase set for January to be delayed.
They believe the rise, first delayed in August, will ramp up anger because it is due to coincide with rail and bus fare increases and the changes to child benefit.
But now rebel leader Robert Halfon has said he will vote with the Government after all and wait to see what Mr Osborne does in his Autumn Statement next month.
He said: "The cost of fuel is the number one issue, that's why I am campaigning on it. I have had discussions with various people and it is my view that the Government is in strong listening mode.
"If I didn't believe that I would make a point and go in to the lobby with Labour."
In a further hint at a postponement, the Prime Minister's spokesman said on Monday: "What the Government has sought to do is to listen to the concerns of motorists and cancel and delay where it can."
Campaign group FairFuelUK claims the planned tax hike would only raise £800m, compared with Treasury projections of £1.5bn, and cost also cost up to 35,000 jobs.
The group's spokesman, broadcaster Quentin Willson, said: "The momentum building up behind FairFuelUK's call to see this damaging 3p rise scrapped is becoming unstoppable.
"The Treasury appears to be listening. We welcome Labour pushing on this issue. Consumers are currently paying an eye-watering 80p per litre in combined fuel duty and VAT.
"This is socially unjust and adding another 3p in tax doesn't make sense for economic recovery and deficit reduction."
Shadow chief secretary to the treasury Rachel Reeves added: "With our economy so fragile and prices still rising faster than wages, it would be wrong to go ahead with another tax rise on families and businesses.
"To boost our flatlining economy, Labour has already called for a temporary VAT cut which would take 3p off a litre of fuel. But if ministers won't do this, the very least they could do is axe January's fuel duty rise at least until April.
"And they could pay for this by clamping down on known tax avoidance loopholes, like the one used by some employment agencies to falsely inflate expenses."
Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association, called on the Government to cancel the hike entirely.
He said: "To defer would mean that it could combine with the planned duty rise on 1 April 2013 to push pump prices up by 7p per litre and that would really wreck any economic recovery, hammer inflation and hit household budgets very hard.
"Such a rise would be without parallel since fuel taxation commenced."
A Treasury spokesman said: "The Government recognises that the rising price of petrol is a significant part of households' day-to-day spending.
"Since coming to office, the Government has listened to the concerns of motorists about high pump prices and acted. Fuel is now 10p a litre lower than under the previous Government's plans."
what do you think?
What happened to the proposed bill to prevent tax evasion. Has Cameron's breakfast club ensured that it has been quietly dropped?
no dave, it needs to be in the hands of the accountants a little longer so they can find the loopholes mate.no point making it legislation if it cant be by-passed.
I wonder if he realises that everytime he increases fuel tax it has a knock on effect to goods and services so up goes inflation. Conversely if he lowers tax then revenues increase. He would be better going back and working in a department store.
Blue Side. Are you seriously suggesting that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should know something about simple economics ? In your dreams my friend.
Lets buy him a book on the subject - O maybe we need to buy him two one on economics and the other how to read.
he and a few of his public school friends, firstly need a few more poor peeps to borrow a few more billion off the tv adds that offer loans at 2090% apr. after all it is important that they concentrate their wealth before the war.
Maybe they could tax the air we breath or bring out pedestrian tax to use the pavement ? Lets face it nothing would surprise me , if this was the USA there would be civil war over the amount of tax on fue ! they pay nothing compared to us .
They're still moaning about it though--even if its only about £2.50 a GALLON
reason their fuel is so cheap,is because of all the piracey for black gold their government embark on,plus the rest of the world subsidises americas life style.they owe more money than the rest of the world put together.
He's just a posh boy taking us for a load of mugs. That is, him and the ditherer.
Which Miliband are you talking about ? after all it was labour that introduced the fuel esculator
You need to check your facts Michael the fuel escalator was introduced in 1993 by the tory government
'the Government is in strong listening mode'. Its a pity its doing mode isn't quite as strong.
Can we add tax for having a dump too....or maybe taking a piss. It is after all what everybody does..how about 50p for a dump..how much revenue would that bring in....and dont even bother about the consequences....oh i shall put it then...we.will end up shi.t.ting all over the pavement cos we cant afford the toilet duties...e
As long as you can get a receipt, it should be fine.
Just don't wipe your a**e with it!!!!
I thought tax was originally put up to cover the cost of car tax so nobody could avoid paying it. If so,why has it never been taken off. It seems every ruling party just seems to treat motorists as some sort of cash cow. If you were earning an MPs salary employing your relatives so money stays in your household them you could afford big nice cars and a second home.as it the humble worker has to be taxed to the hilt whilst 70%of our so called representatives con us,foot listen to us and only look after their own interests with directorships of private companies putting more money in kidgp own pockets.
i totally agree,but i had to laugh at you putting 30% of our representatives dont con us..once they have crossed that line from joe public to political animal,they either one of em or not.less than 0.5% of them resigned over what they all knew to be an illegal war in iraq.in my view they all limp the same way,all but 0.5% that is. your first point is true,do the lawyers not know how much they could make claiming all that dough back for us?
Apparently this country and practically every other country in the western world owes massive amounts of money which we are struggling to "pay back". Can someone please tell me who we owe this money to? And please tell me it isn't banks.
If the government stopped wasting money we could see a nice cut in tax
Zippy and bungle could run this country better
The Treasury spokesman says the government have listened to the motorist and acted - yes by increasing vat on fuel to 20%
absolutely right Nigel .Fuel would come down 6 or 7 p a litre if vat was 15%.They have done absolutely nothing to help the motorist .
Landsea. It is all smoke & mirrors. When Alistair Darling reduced VAT to 15% he increased fuel duty by 2p to compensate for this change thus ensuring petrol prices remained unchanged. When VAT returned to 17.5% did he remove the extra duty, did he hell and prices increased. Another stealth tax slipped though on the quiet
The bloke is an idiot fuel we cannot afford current prices .The thought of putting it up even more shouldn't even be mentioned .This country is on its knees because of this fool. Which is why they are 12 points behind in the polls .
Why do fuel prices vary so much throughout the UK? Haulage costs must be similar its only a small island Other liquids ( eg milk or beer) dont vary as much so why does fuel?
The big question in life is, how the country owes so much money and the goverment still gives out in foreign aid. Any rational person that was in debt would not be giving away their money only to have to borrow more.
How come we have this report from 2012 - has Orange worked out we are now in 2013 ?