Chancellor receives more pressure to scrap 3p-a-litre rise

Quentin WillsonPA

Chancellor George Osborne is receiving renewed calls to abandon the controversial 3p-a-litre increase in fuel duty planned for January.

Labour are calling on the Government in a Commons vote this afternoon to delay the tax hike until at least next April, claiming families and businesses are in desperate need of some good news from the Exchequer.
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rachel Reeves said: "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.

The campaign group FairFuelUK previously said it believed the tax hike could will raise only £800m, compared to Treasury projections that it would bring in £1.5bn. It could also cost as many as 35,000 jobs, it said.

The group will be campaigning at parliament today ahead of the debate and vote in the Commons.

Its spokesman, motoring journalist and broadcaster Quentin Willson (pictured), 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.

Pressure has also been dealt out by British Car Auctions (BCA). The firm's latest research confirms motorists' continued concerns over the cost of fuel.

Editor of the BCA used car market report, Tim Naylor, said: "If this postponement goes ahead, this will come as a huge relief to many motorists who are struggling with fuel prices as demonstrated by our research. 70 per cent of car owners admitted they had taken steps to cut their car operating costs. Many are changing the way they drive to maximise their fuel efficiency."

BCA data reveals that motorists are trying different ways to combat the financial pressures including altering the way they drive (17 per cent drive more slowly to conserve fuel), avoiding heavy breaking (16 per cent) and opting for more fuel-efficient models.
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