Freeze continues as Chancellor rejects opportunity to cut fuel duty

In delivering the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Revue and Autumn Statement to a packed House of Commons, the Chancellor of the Exchequer again ignored the suggestion of a real terms cut in fuel, leaving many commentators feeling that he had missed another opportunity to deliver a measure that would stimulate further growth and boost the economy.

In the days leading up to his address in Parliament, FairFuelUK and its supporters again urged George Osborne to consider the option of a 3p per litre cut in fuel duty.  The latest report produced for the campaign by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), Assessing the impact of lower fuel prices on the UK economy, further provides compelling evidence.

The CEBR study, part-funded by FTA, confirms that low forecourt prices have raised UK GDP by 0.6 per cent, stimulated an extra £11.6 billion of economic activity, created 121,000 jobs and boosted government tax revenues in 2015.

FairFuelUK’s founder, Howard Cox, said: “Great news that duty is frozen for the fifth year in a row.  But George Osborne should have been bolder and cut duty on all fuels. The CEBR evidence is indisputable.  He has missed a proven and ideal opportunity to increase consumer spending that generates new jobs, more VAT, a boost to GDP and as a result more growth tax revenue.

“We still pay the highest prices in the western world at the pumps due to his punitive and unnecessary taxation levels on drivers.  He did not even mention fuel duty, so we can only assume that putting it up in the 2016 Budget is on the table.  Our fight goes on for taxation sanity at the pumps.”

On the day Mr Osborne spoke in the House of Commons, Karen Dee, Director of Policy at the Freight Transport Association (FTA), said: “The lack of recognition of the importance of reducing fuel duty is a missed opportunity by the Government in the Autumn Statement today.

“The 3p per litre reduction would have provided much needed economic relief – not only to the logistics sector, which faces continuing difficult trading conditions, but also to the wider motoring public who rely on their cars to get to and from work.”