Fleet News

Industry turns up the pressure for petrol duty cuts

BUSINESS leaders have called on Prime Minister Tony Blair to reduce fuel duties amid claims that the fuel crisis will cost the UK economy around £1 billion in lost output. Economists have calculated that the Government could afford to cut up to 4p a litre off the current price of fuel without jeopardising its Budget sums.

The Institute of Directors claimed that a 6p a litre cut in fuel duty would cost the Treasury £2.75 billion, including the loss of VAT revenue which would equal the amount the Government expects to collect from increased tax revenues from higher North Sea oil prices.

The British Chambers of Commerce said following the protests the Government must take action to reduce the fuel costs burden on UK businesses with duty cuts.

Some commentators are predicting a radical reappraisal of motoring taxes - including fuel duty cuts - in the March 2001 Budget, to win popular approval just ahead of the next general election. Despite the hardline rhetoric, speculation is mounting that fuel duty cuts will be 'flagged up' in November's annual pre-Budget report and will be formally announced in the March 2001 Budget.

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