Jeremy Hunt announces major fuel duty changes in Spring Budget
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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has unveiled his new Spring Budget and announced a major change to the fuel duty levy. Mr Hunt revealed that the Government would extend the 5p fuel duty cut for another 12 months in a move that is estimated will save the average driver £100 per year, and around £200 since the cut was introduced last year.
The Chancellor said: “I noticed the party opposite called for a freeze on this duty, somehow they forgot the British people they have voted against every single fuel duty change in the last 12 years.
“Because inflation remains high, I have decided this is not the right time to uprate fuel duty with inflation or increase the duty.
“So here’s what I’m going to do. For a further 12 months, I’m going to maintain the 5p cut and I’m going to freeze fuel duty too.
“That saves the average driver £100 next year and around £200 since the 5p cut was introduced.”
This announcement was met with raucous cheers from the House.
At the 2022 Spring Statement, then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the Government would be cutting fuel duty by 5p per litre, which would apply for the next 12 months.
The Treasury estimated it would cost £5billion and help motorists save at the pumps.
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Savings included around £100 for the average car driver, £200 for van owners and up to £1,500 for the average haulier.
Last year, the Office for Budget Responsibility published its Economic and Fiscal Outlook report hinted at a potential fuel duty change.
It suggested that a rumoured 23 percent increase in the rate on fuel duty would add £5.7billion to Government revenue.
This would have been a record cash increase and be the first time any Government had raised fuel duty rates in cash terms since January 2011.
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Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuelUK campaign, commented on the announcement, saying it was excellent news for hard-pressed motorists.
He added: ” I am delighted our intense campaigning and lobbying with so many in touch MPs, led by Priti Patel, Craig Mackinlay and Jonathan Gullis, has been highly effective in convincing the Chancellor to keep Fuel Duty frozen.
“The longest ever consumer tax levy freeze, thankfully continues. It would be churlish not to warmly thank Mr Hunt for today’s welcome news, even though drivers actually wanted a cut in this regressive tax.
“The Chancellor has inteligently ignored that November 23% bombshell forecasted rise in duty announced by the OBR, by being pragmatic and listening to our fact-based economic reasoning.”
He added that it was time for the Treasury to ensure the “unchecked profiteering” on forecourts comes to an end, and transparency is introduced to help motorists, small businesses, low-income families, and truckers.
Domenico Mariconda, CEO at fuel card provider Right Fuel Card, also praised the cut, but suggested that the Government could have gone further to help drivers.
They said: “We’re not entirely surprised by the announcements of a continued fuel duty freeze and price cuts for another 12 months.
“Nevertheless, we had hopes of a reduced rate or a further price reduction in an attempt to slightly balance out the volatile and stubbornly high fuel prices from 2022.
“Whilst pump prices are beginning to decline, they’re still much higher than they ever have been.
“We’re also keen to see retailers passing on lower exchange rates to customers, something that’s come under huge criticism in recent months.”
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