But another voice has joined the debate and that's theCEO of Asda. Andy Clarke agrees with FairFuel that the August rise will damage the economy and put extra costs on the UK supply chain. And when a bloke so close to the heart of British business says that high fuel costs reduce economic activity, we should all take notice. But this split in the Coalition, this constant wrangling and arguing, is because the Treasury won't answer the dirigible-sized question: how much will this impending rise of 15p a gallon actually cost the UK economy? Nobody wants to answer that one. I've asked them so many times, presented economic research, talked about the loss of jobs, reduction in profitability, extra welfare costs and the increased burden on families and businesses, but they just won't engage. They don't want to do the calculation.
But every economist knows that fuel is such an integral part of virtually every financial transaction, and those transactions are made more expensive every time the pump price goes up. What's difficult to understand about this? You raise fuel duty, you damage the economy. So I'm asking the Treasury to quantify the economic and social cost to this country of their planned 3p rise. Tell us that it won't cause economic contraction, increase costs for businesses and put people out of work. Tell us that the cash it brings in to the Treasury won't be dwarfed by the extra social and economic heartache that this insane rise will cause. I'm waiting......"
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