Waveney MP demands petrol and diesel tax action

PUBLISHED: 11:33 26 October 2012 | UPDATED: 11:55 26 October 2012

Waveney MP Peter Aldous.
Photo: Andy Darnell

Waveney MP Peter Aldous. Photo: Andy Darnell

Archant © 2011

The MP for Waveney has urged the Government to capitalise on the UK coming out of recession by scrapping a planned 3p hike in fuel duty.

Peter Aldous said fuel costs are a “massive issue” for families and businesses at a time when gas and electricity is also soaring.

Average petrol prices hit 140p-a-litre in September while Npower said earlier this month it would increase gas prices by 8.8% and electricity 9.1%. British Gas, who reported a £345million profit in the first half of this year, also increased prices by an average of 6%.

Earlier this year Chancellor George Osborne reversed a 3p fuel duty hike planned for August, costing the Government £550million. The next hike is planned for January 2013.

Mr Aldous, who signed a Commons early day motion by Harlow MP Robert Halfon to cut fuel duty, said: “The cost of fuel is a massive issue for families and local businesses. I am also calling for a wider review of the cost of domestic fuel and the tariff system. It is completely unacceptable to me that whilst consumers prices go up so do bosses’ bonuses.”

The MP was speaking after it was revealed this week the UK economy emerged from recession in the three months from July to September, helped by the Olympic Games.

He added: “It’s welcome news about coming out of recession but it’s important there’s no letting up. There’s a hard road ahead.

“We need to keep that momentum going and a cut in fuel duty will help that.

Wil Gibson, of Suffolk ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), said the price of gas and electricity was “hitting people really hard”.

He said the organisation had begun bulk buying heating oil to help households and businesses - that are not on mains gas or electricity - save money.

He added: “It’s a major issue in Suffolk and it’s hitting people really hard.

“Most people have not seen a wage increase but they have seen increases in the cost of food and fuel for their cars and fuel for heating and cooking.”

A spokesman for the Treasury declined to comment on whether fuel duty would be frozen.

He added: “The Government has taken real action to help motorists with the cost of fuel, including cutting fuel duty at last year’s Budget and delaying a rise planned for August. Taken together, the Government’s support has been worth £5.5bn and means that pump prices are 10p a litre cheaper than they otherwise would have been.”

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