Fuel duty petition wins Commons debate

Fuel pricesIt's victory for Harlow MP Robert Halfon. He has secured a parliamentary debate on fuel tax after 100,000 people signed his online petition with FairFuel UK. And the go-ahead has been given for a three-hour debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday 15 November. The debate is badly needed given that the price of fuel could now hit £1.50 per litre by summer.

£1,700 a year to fill up

Data from the Royal Automobile Club claims many motorists now pay around £1,700 a year just to fill up the family car. David Cameron could even face a back bench rebellion on the issue.

Although the average price of petrol for unleaded is at 135p per litre currently and 140p per litre for diesel, this figure is under pressure. In a recent autumn briefing note, Brian Madderson, chairman of the Retail Motor Federation, urged the government to stamp the brakes on the next round of fuel duty, due 1 January.

"What will such increases do for inflation? What will they do to cash strapped consumers? What will they do for the declining retail sector? What will they do to re-ignite our stagnant economy?" says Madderson.

More rises coming

Though oil prices have dropped - Brent Crude has slipped from $126 to $110 - recently, petrol is still just 3p off May's record high, not helped by the rise in the value of the dollar. September's RPI inflation of 5.6% casts an even darker shadow over fuel prices next year, says the AA, threatening to add another 7p – 8p to the price of petrol and diesel within the next 12 months.

Add on the 3.02p-a-litre increase in fuel duty scheduled for 1 January 2012, pushing it up to 60.97p a litre, and "an inflationary increase reflecting 5.6% would add a further 3.4p. And that's before VAT totals the increase over the next 12 months to around 7.7p a litre."

Remember the fuel blockades and outrage when fuel hit... £1 a litre?
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