29th February 2012
Plans to increase fuel duty by 3p should be axed in order to boost the UK economy and create thousands of jobs, campaigning group Fair Fuel UK has told the Government.
Backed by over 20,000 road freight companies, Fair Fuel UK presented their initial findings ahead of a report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) in last minute talks with ministers including Treasury minister Chloe Smith.
According to the Fair Fuel UK's petition, 1 billion fewer litres of fuel were sold in the first three months of 2011 compared with the same period before the 2008 financial crisis, equating to a £637.8 million loss in tax revenues to the Treasury. The same period also saw a 15.2 per cent dip in petrol sales and a six per cent fall in diesel sales, after it revealed that the UK now has the highest fuel duty in the EU.
Initial findings from the CEBR report are expected to show that a cut of 2.5 p per litre would create 18,000 new jobs in the first year. Fair Fuel UK has stated that reducing fuel duty is 'key' to UK economic recovery and hopes the full report will demonstrate that a cut in duty would help Treasury revenues.
Quentin Willson, broadcast journalist and national spokesman for Fair Fuel UK, 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 continued: "The Government now needs to embrace these findings and follow through on the 1p cut they made last year."
However, despite axing a fuel duty rise last month, and limiting a planned 5p rise in August 2012 to 3p, the Government has indicated that further fuel duty cuts are not in the pipeline. Speaking to Sky News this weekend, Chancellor George Osborne said that fuel duty concessions had already been made and that the Treasury would not be able afford the £1.5 billion needed to cancel it.