In yesterday's edition of Scotland on Sunday there are warnings that the UK government might restore the unpopular fuel duty escalator system due to falling oil prices and falling North Sea tax revenue. Three years ago George Osborne introduced a fuel stabiliser system as oil prices surged above $115 a barrel. He said "the escalator – it allows petrol duty to increase by the level of inflation plus 1 penny per litre – could be re-introduced if prices fell below $75 a barrel.”
FairFuelUK is calling on Mr Osborne to immediately quash these rumours of raising fuel duty and that he most certainly intends to stick to his promise of maintaining a freeze in Fuel Duty for the foreseeable future. In addition will he also look into the Campaign’s proof, endorsed by his own Treasury, that in fact for the benefit of the UK economy it is best that fuel duty should be cut? FairFuelUK is calling for a 3p per litre cut.
Quentin Willson from FairFuelUK said: "Raising fuel duty now will slow down growth, increase inflation and effect interest rates. You can't tell the oil companies off one week and then raise fuel tax the next. This is nuts.”
Commenting, RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said: "The UK economy is massively dependent on an efficient, cost effective, logistics network. Fuel represents over a third of a road haulier’s operating costs so for our industry, every single penny counts. A single 44 tonne articulated trucks does approximately 8 miles to the gallon and the knock-on effect of a single penny increase in fuel duty will add over £450 per annum to its running costs. The Road Haulage Association, together with our campaign partners, FairFuelUK, will continue to lobby hard for a 3 pence per litre reduction in fuel duty. Any announcement that duty levels are to rise is, for the economy in general and the UK haulage industry in particular, quite unthinkable. Our members move the economy. Any increase in their costs will, quite simply, bring it to a standstill.”
Howard Cox, Founder of the FairFuelUK Campaign said; "We have heard rumours from several reliable sources that raising Fuel Duty is an option under consideration by the Treasury in the lead up to the Autumn Statement to compensate for less tax revenues from North Seal Oil sales due to the recent lower oil prices worldwide. We will be meeting with Priti Patel, Treasury Secretary, on Monday 17th November and will be seeking reassurance from her that fuel duty increases are indeed just rumours."