Quentin Willson writes in the Sunday Mirror 23rd Nov 2014, following his and FairFuelUK's visit to see Treasury Minister Priti Patel
Following a meeting with Quentin Willson and Howard Cox of the popular FairFuelUK Campaign, Priti Patel, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury said: "I thank FairFuelUK for a very constructive meeting on ways to reduce the cost of driving...FairFuelUK continues to make a significant contribution in parliament, and I look forward to us maintaining an ongoing open dialogue."
The FairFuelUK Campaign team met with the Treasury Minister Priti Patel (Pictured) and Robert Halfon MP, PPS to the Chancellor to talk about the need for an immediate transparent enquiry into why the recent welcome Oil Price falls had not been passed on at the pumps. FairFuelUK had already written to Mr Osborne a week earlier calling for this enquiry as to how prices are actually calculated when filling up our tanks. In particular FairFuelUK wanted assurance that duty would not be increased if oil fell to $75 a barrel. (see FairFuelUK's letter to Mr Osborne, Priti Patel and other Treasury Ministers at www.fairfueluk.com/Letter_to_chancellor.html
In addition FairFuelUK repeated its call to the Minister for a 3p cut in duty in the Autumn Statement and March Budget, following its empirical economic evidence that cutting duty is good for new jobs, increasing GDP and lowering inflation. HM Treasury’s dynamic modelling found that the increased exchequer revenues resulting from the increase in economic activity will pay for around half of the initial cost of the Government’s action on fuel duty.
The final item on the meeting agenda was for the Minister to support FairFuelUK's call for fuel pump receipts to clearly show all taxes involved when filling up, not just the VAT. (See example receipt on the left)
The Minister was extremely supportive of the FairFuelUK Campaign's efforts over the last 5 years and commented constructively that she would carefully consider all the Campaign's requests, with the qualification that an cut in duty was subject to the country's finances being able to support it. FairFuelUK emphasised again that a fuel duty cut would generate Treasury revenue from the growth taxes the consequential increased income tax, corporation tax and more VAT a duty cut would generate.
Quentin Willson, Lead Campaigner for FairFuelUK said: 'I’m hearted that Priti Patel, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, gets the need for lower fuel duty to stimulate UK growth, but The Treasury needs to act on the now proven data that FairFuelUK has always championed. Suspending all those fuel escalators in the last three years has saved consumers and businesses £30 billion and uplifted GDP by 0.5%. We now need an investigation into oil price manipulation, forecourt pricing, tax transparency on fuel receipts and a 3p cut in duty. For the Government Keeping the UK’s road economy affordable for everybody is an urgent priority.
Howard Cox founder of the FairFuelUK Campaign said: 'It was hugely encouraging that the new Minister for Fuel Duty was highly supportive of our core campaigning objectives. We are delighted that there may be at last' a senior Treasury Minister who will recognise the needs of 32m tax paying and voting road users. The important component is of course that through her this Government do something more than freeze duty in the Autumn Statement and Budget 2015 in the name of common economic sense and cut this punitive levy to maintain the country's economic momentum. We look forward in seeing what the Minister can deliver. A cut is both economically and politically the best solution for UK Ltd. And hopefully let the Nation drop its title as being the highest for fuel duty in the developed world.'
Priti Patel, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury said: "I thank FairFuelUK for a very constructive meeting on ways to reduce the cost of driving, and I fully recognise the issues they raised. I assured FairFuelUK that this government is committed to supporting households and businesses with the cost of fuel, and has taken a number of actions over this parliament to do so, including scrapping the previous government’s fuel duty escalator, cutting fuel duty by 1 penny per litre in March 2011 and freezing it until the end of this parliament. "These actions mean that by the end of this parliament, petrol and diesel prices will be nearly 20p per litre lower than if we had stuck with the previous government’s fuel duty plans, saving the typical motorist £10 each time they fill their tank. FairFuelUK continues to make a significant contribution in parliament, and I look forward to us maintaining an ongoing open dialogue.”