Government faces calls for fuel duty freeze

JonathanMarch 19, 2012

A series of pleas have been issued to the government in a bid to persuade the coalition to scrap an anticipated increase in fuel duty.

With chancellor George Osborne due to announce the 2012 Budget in a speech to the House of Commons on Wednesday (March 21st), driver organisations are pressing for taxes on petrol and diesel to be reduced.

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) is calling on the government to apply a “fair and simple” rule to motoring taxation and to scrap a planned 3p increase in fuel duty per litre set to come into effect this August.

It noted applying an environment-based regime to levies such as benefit-in-kind provision and capital allowances has substantially driven down car leasing emissions.

However, it is now proposing the annual economic statement this week should address “lingering inequalities” in the market, while not increasing the overall tax burden on the car contract hire sector.

“If the government can deliver a proportionate and well-signposted tax regime, the fleet industry will fulfil its side of the bargain. It will provide a healthy market for vehicle manufacturers and safe, fuel-efficient road transport for companies up and down the nation,” declared BVRLA chief executive John Lewis.

In addition, lobby group FairFuelUK has stated it wants Mr Osborne to freeze fuel duty and ideally cut it in the 2012 Budget.

In a final call to the government, campaigner and television presenter Quentin Willson said raising duty in the current economic climate “seems economic and social madness”.

Research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research discovered a reduction in fuel duty of 2.5p per litre could boost gross domestic product by 0.33 per cent and generate 180,000 new jobs.

The AA warned earlier this month that diesel prices had risen to a record high of 144.67p per litre, leaping from 113.62p two years ago.

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