FairFuelUK, backed by the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and Logistics UK (FTA), has said it will 'fight tooth and nail' against rumoured plans to raise fuel duty.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering ending a ten-year freeze on the tax in his Autumn Budget and could increase fuel duty by 5p, to pay for the coronavirus crisis, The Sun reported.
Talking directly to Rishi Sunak, MP Robert Halfon said: “Don't let the taxpayer millions that funded half-price meals in August, be partly paid for, using an unnecessary hike in fuel duty.
“Such a needless rise in this levy will impact badly on the cost of living for families, increase inflation, hit businesses and jobs hard. It will even swell costs for our hard-pressed public services, including the NHS.”
Howard Cox, founder of FairFuelUK, said: “Do not make the world’s highest taxed drivers, the fiscal fall guys in a post pandemic recovery budget. Hiding behind a green driven agenda to hike a regressive tax will be disingenuous and hit low-income drivers hardest.”
FairFuelUK said that by putting more money in people’s pockets, the extra consumer spending to drive up GDP will help the economy recover.
Cox said: “On behalf of most drivers, business and private, do not screw the commercial and social heartbeat of our economy to mollify the environmental lobby and pay off your post pandemic debt.
“The UK needs to recover big and fast using incentives not punitive knee jerk extra taxes.”
“With more disposable income, we will all spend and spend. Businesses will flourish, and the extra tax cash from ensuing growth in the economy will flood into HM Revenue and Customs.”
Logistics UK is calling for a freeze on diesel and petrol fuel duty, in addition to a reduction in fuel duty for cleaner, lower carbon fuels to support the transition to a zero-emission industry.
Elizabeth de Jong, director of Policy at Logistics UK, said: “Logistics UK and its members are extremely concerned by rumours circulating of a significant fuel duty rise in the Autumn Budget.
“Logistics businesses have worked tirelessly during the pandemic to ensure the nation is supplied with all the goods and services it needs, all while operating at very tight margins and facing severe economic difficulties; a fuel duty rise would be a huge blow to their recovery.”
“The 5p per litre rise – as is speculated in the media – would increase operating costs significantly at a time when margins are most stretched and cash flow is a real problem for many businesses; the UK already pays one of the highest fuel duty rates in Europe.”
Haigh said: “The Chancellor should take the opportunity of record low oil prices to increase fuel duty.
“The money should be ring-fenced to incentivise the take-up of cleaner vehicles and improve public transport.
“At the very least, the Chancellor should end the freeze and increase fuel duty in line with inflation.”
In the Budget announced in March, the Chancellor said the fuel duty freeze will continue for a further year, costing the the Treasury some £800 million in lost revenue.
Fuel tax table - FairFuelUK