3p fuel price hike could be "deferred"

Fuel pumpsPA

A planned 3p rise in fuel duty slated for January could be deferred, it's been revealed.

Crunch talks between fuel duty campaigners and the Government yesterday looked positive – one campaigner said there's a 70 per cent chance the 3p rise could be deferred.
The Government agreed to meet officials from the FairFuelUK group who had given them a report by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research.

FairFuelUK's report shows January's rise could lead to 35,000 job losses and a 0.1 per cent cut in economic growth.

As a result, the tax hike would only bring in just over half the expected extra tax revenue – £800 million rather than £1.5 billion.

The authors said cutting fuel duty by 3p instead of raising it by 3p would create 70,000 new jobs and boost growth by 0.2 per cent.

Motoring journalist, broadcaster and FairFuelUK national spokesman, Quentin Willson, said he believed chief secretary to the treasury, Danny Alexander, was very interested in the findings.

While stressing no promises were made, Willson said: "If I was a betting man I would say there is a 70 per cent chance of getting this deferred.

"We are going to be meeting each other on a regular basis.

"The rise is due in January so we will have news before then."

Willson said Alexander was interested in the group's research by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research.

"We met the Treasury team in charge of tax on vehicles and they asked lots of serious and trenchant questions and our statisticians talked to theirs," said Willson.

A Treasury spokesman said: "It is right that the Treasury engages with FairFuelUK to discuss technical issues around the impact of the cost of fuel on the economy.

"What matters to motorists and businesses is that fuel is now 10p a litre lower than under the previous Government's plans.

"This Government has done more to support motorists and businesses than any other."
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