Drivers across the UK get a welcome bit of relief yesterday as Chancellor George Osborne bowed to pressure and announced the proposed increase in fuel duty for early next year was to be cancelled.
Speaking before the House of Commons in his Autumn statement the Chancellor announced that the 3p rise in fuel duty due to begin on January 2nd would now be scrapped and a further planned 5p increase in August would now be just 3p. The news will be welcomed by motorists all over Britain but particularly so by drivers who rely on their vehicle to make a living.
The increase in fuel and commercial vehicle insurance has crippled many businesses over the last 12 months and for some the January increase would have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Mr Osborne said he realised that for many people a car was no longer a luxury but a necessity and that is why he withdrew the levy.
Theo de Pencier, the chief executive of the Freight Transport Association, said “We have avoided a horrendous New Year’s hangover… January’s rise would have cost the industry around £325m. But while we are relieved that the Chancellor has steered us out of immediate danger, it is obvious that getting the UK back on the road to recovery requires a long-term fuel duty strategy, and one which doesn’t make tough times that much tougher for businesses in an already uncertain economy. Today’s decision will help to keep the wheels of industry turning and shows that Government has listened.”
The cancellation of the fuel duty rise was one of the few snippets of good news in an otherwise bleak assessment of the UK’s economy and drivers along with the rest of the population have been warned there are tough times to come.