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Autumn statement: Planned 3p fuel duty rise scrapped by Chancellor

PUBLISHED: 14:22 05 December 2012 | UPDATED: 17:43 05 December 2012

George Osborne today announced that the planned 3p-a-litre fuel duty rise scheduled for January would be scrapped. Danny Lawson/PA Wire

George Osborne today announced that the planned 3p-a-litre fuel duty rise scheduled for January would be scrapped. Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Archant

Hard-pressed drivers were given some respite today when Chancellor George Osborne decided to scrap the 3p-a-litre fuel duty increase planned for January 2013.

The planned hike would have meant drivers filling an average tank would have had to fork out almost £2 more for petrol or diesel.

But Mr Osborne said he was not merely postponing the 3p rise until April 2013 but axing it altogether.

He said it would help families and businesses across the country.

The decision was welcomed by AA president Edmund King. He said: “This decision avoids a new year’s headache and a long hangover for all drivers and is very much welcomed by the AA.

“Big Ben’s chimes ringing in a nearly £2-a-tank hike in petrol and diesel prices would have backfired on the Government and economy.”

He added: “The Treasury may have thought that a fuel duty increase in the winter, when petrol is usually cheaper, would have been easier.

“But, toasting the new year with Champagne at a lower duty rate than road fuel underlines successive governments’ failure to spot the difference between a luxury and a necessity.

“In 20 years, UK motoring has cut its fuel consumption by 20pc (12.8 billion litres), but contributes 144pc more (£15.81 billion) in fuel duty tax.

“In the last financial year, the Treasury collected its second highest-ever haul of fuel duty from UK drivers – a whopping £26.8 billion.

“That is two-and-a-half times more than what is spent on UK roads (£9.8 billion), even before receipts from Vehicle Excise Duty, VAT, company car tax and new car tax are added.”

What do you think? You can leave your comments on the autumn statement below the line, and read our live blog by following the link to the top right of this story.

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