Don’t hike fuel duty: FairFuel UK and RHA15 March 2016

Following FairFuel UK’s plea to the Chancellor yesterday (14 March 2016) not to gamble on fuel duty in tomorrow’s Budget, the pressure group is today pointing to SNP MPs, who are now publicly backing its campaign.

“Raising fuel duty on Wednesday carries a huge political risk,” insists Quentin Willson, TV motoring journalist and lead campaigner for FairFuelUK.

“As well as looking like an opportunistic tax grab, the Chancellor faces a sizeable MP rebellion... This could defeat the Finance Bill. Tread carefully Chancellor.”

Meanwhile, the RHA (Road Haulage Association) is also asking George Osborne not to hike fuel duty – or raise insurance premium tax.

“The Chancellor must hold his nerve on fuel duty,” insists RHA chief executive Richard Burnett. “Diesel duty is a tax on the economy.”

Burnett believes that hiking fuel duty now threatens to “slam the breaks” on the economic recovery.

“UK fuel duty is by far the highest anywhere in the EU... A 2 pence per litre increase will add nearly £1,000 pa to the cost of operating a truck – and that will inevitably have to be passed onto consumers.”

Turning to insurance premium tax, he worries about rumours of an increase to 12.5% – which would “increase the cost base of an industry already fearful of a rise in fuel duty”.

RHA members were strongly opposed to the rise in insurance premium tax to 9.5% last year. Their reaction, he says, will be even stronger if Osborne raises it again.

Pictured: Opposition treasury SNP spokesman Stewart Hosie MP with FairFuelUK campaigner Quentin Willson and founder Howard Cox.

Brian Tinham

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