Fuel duty rise put on the hard shoulder

Holders of commercial vehicle insurance policies throughout the UK will be delighted with at least one bit of news that came out of an otherwise dire Autumn Statement delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, in the House of Commons yesterday.

The news that the proposed 3p per litre rise in fuel duty in January was cancelled had MPs clapping and cheering the Chancellor yesterday and it’s a safe bet that the news was greeted just as happily in many boardrooms and van cabs across the country. Mr Osborne said the cancellation meant the Government had not increased fuel duty for over two years now and in future any increases would take place on September 1st instead of April 1st. Further good news for the UK’s commercial fleet came with the announcement that money will be made available to upgrade the A1, the A30 in Cornwall, and several sections of the M25.

The cancellation of the fuel duty increase is a major victory for pressure group FairfuelUK who have relentlessly lobbied MPs to vote against any increase. A spokesman for the group said they were happy the Chancellor had made the right choice. They said: “The cancellation of the 3p rise completely is a welcome surprise; it would have cost 35,000 jobs and hit growth. [It is] fantastic news but the fight for fairer fuel pricing goes on for the sake of hard pressed businesses, the public and to stimulate growth in the economy.”

In fact the news was welcomed by motorists throughout the country with the Road Haulage Association issuing a statement saying: “Our position was broadly shared by organisations representing SMEs in the manufacturing and plant sectors, with which we worked. It is encouraging to know that the Road Haulage Association has a voice that is listened to.”

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