Motorists’ pockets will be hit even harder as petrol retailers predict the average cost of filling up a tank could soar to £70. Planned government tax rises could see a litre of unleaded rocket to £1.36, while diesel could go up to £1.40. Some areas are reporting figures of £1.38 for diesel now.
Major motoring organisations are urging the Chancellor to scrap plans for a 5p rise in fuel duty in his April budget. The public could face a total rise of 8p per litre as oil prices also continue to increase. The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) petrol division’s chairman has written to Mr Osborne calling for a “halt the relentless rise in fuel prices”. The RMI said: “Our unequivocal recommendation is that the Government now abandon the fuel duty `escalator’ principle as this is a legacy of your predecessors”.
“We are mindful that the plan to increase duty yet again by 1p a litre in ‘real terms’ from April 1 will add a further 4-5p a litre to the retail price at the pumps for all grades of fuel”. The RMI’s plea is echoed by commuters and small businesses who are demanding action from ministers.
Campaigners say people will be unable to travel to work and businesses will suffer financially following the fuel hikes. People are considering where they drive and their day to day lives are being affected by the price of fuel.
The Government is now facing calls to introduce their fair fuel price stabiliser policy, which would see fuel duty fall when oil prices rise, and then go back up when they moderate. The policy was shelved after the coalition was formed.
Some activists have called for a repeat of the crippling fuel strikes of 2000, when farmers and lorry drivers staged go-slow protests and refinery blockades that bled dry more than 90% of UK petrol stations – all because prices had gone above 80p a litre.
Farmers For Action (FFA) say “It is an unfair situation on the general public and they will be making a poor return on the money they pay for fuel.” Driving a car could become even more expensive as most fuel supplies are distributed by haulage contractors, who not only tender for the work. The Road Haulage Association (RHA) says the increase in petrol pump rises are “financially crippling.
An HM Treasury spokesperson said: “In order to address the country’s record budget deficit, it is necessary to implement the fuel duty increases already set and legislated for. Tough decisions are unavoidable and the Government has been clear that the burden of deficit reduction will have to be shared.”
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The average cost to fill up your tank could reach £70 by this Easter.