Letter sent to Chancellor to block fuel duty increases

Published: 07 July 2015

Letter sent to Chancellor to block fuel duty increases

An open letter signed by over a million road users pleading with George Osborne not to increase fuel duty in September will be handed over to number 11 downing street today.

Tory backbenchers have aligned with 33 MPs across all parties and key industry organisations including the RHA, FTA, RAC, APN and Microlise in regards to the Chancellors fuel duty plans.

They want the Chancellor to use his last chance to stop the automatic inflation linked increase by including the block on fuel duty rises in his emergency budget tomorrow.

The letter has been written and put together by FairFuelUK who have been fighting a long running campaign to keep fuel duty levels down.

You can see the letter, which was accompanied by over 1 million signatures, to the Chancellor below:

"FairFuelUK and the undersigned MPs from all Parties warn George Osborne that an inflation based fuel duty rise in the coming Emergency Budget or in future years will lower GDP, cost the UK £8 billion in reduced economic activity, raise inflation and sabotage one of the slowest economic recoveries this country has ever seen. Even The Treasury has said that the Government’s freeze on duty since 2011 has improved GDP by 0.5% and that ‘low fuel costs are good for the economy’. The UK already has the highest duty regimes in the EU, 98% of FairFuelUK’s 1.1 million supporters believe this is too high and research by CEBR confirm that fuel duty is already at an unsustainable level. To ignore 37 million drivers, deny the fact we are reliant on a road economy and side-step haversacks of prestigious academic fiscal research will seem arrogant and reckless. Before the election this Government trumpeted its policy of keeping fuel costs low to stimulate growth and jobs. A volte-face now will appear duplicitous. We urge the Chancellor to be fearless and continue to protect the UK’s fragile road-based economy by at least freezing fuel duty in the lifetime of this Parliament. However he must consider a real cut in this levy, the economist’s preferred choice and proven to spawn prolonged growth tax revenue for the Exchequer.”
What does the haulage industry has to say?

‘’The economy is growing, we have decreasing unemployment and inflation is virtually zero. It’s a no brainer and certainly no coincidence that lower oil prices and the fuel duty freeze policy are the reasons why we are enjoying better economic conditions. FairFuelUK has demonstrated that £10b has been put back into consumer spending power as a result. Any increase in the punitive duty levels we already suffer will head the nation back into negative growth. It would be foolishness for any Government to increase this levy now.’’ – Richard Burnett CEO, RHA.

‘’During the election campaign, the political parties ruled out increases in just about every other tax except fuel duty. We know there will be no rise in income tax, national insurance or VAT. That leaves fuel duty looking vulnerable to future increases but that would be a huge mistake for the Chancellor to make at this stage in the economic cycle. Recent falls in the cost of crude oil have had only a limited impact on UK fuel prices. That’s because over 60% of the bulk diesel price is fuel duty and the UK has hand to pay more for its oil as the pound has weakened against the dollar since last summer. The reality is that a 40% drop in crude oil prices only resulted in an 11% discount in bulk diesel prices paid by a majority of truck fleets and even lower reductions at the forecourt as retails have sought to increase their margins. The chancellor needs to understand that fuel duty is still off limits as he considers his budget statement in July.’’ – James Hookham, Deputy Chief Executive FTA.
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