MPs to debate 40 percent fuel price cut next week amid cost of living crisis

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Next Monday will see Members of Parliament debating a petition relating to taxes on motor fuel. The petition, which has more than 102,000 signatures, states: “The Government should reduce the cost of fuel through a reduction of 40 percent in fuel duty and VAT for 2 years. This can effectively offset the rise in fuel prices since 2020.”

But the Government will reinforce its position and said in response to the petition: “The Government is taking targeted action to help families across the UK with the cost of living, which includes freezing fuel duty in 2022-23, the twelfth consecutive year.”

Ahead of the debate, the Petitions Committee conducted a survey of petitioners to hear how recent increases in the cost of fuel were affecting them.

They found that despite rising costs, many respondents said they have to drive for their job, or to access essential services.

And 62 percent of respondents said rising fuel costs have had a ‘significant effect’ on their social life.

Additionally, 38 percent said fuel prices have had a “significant effect” on their ability to do their job or run their business.

Many respondents said they were having to make difficult sacrifices to get by, while others called for the Government to do more to reduce the cost of driving.

This week, foreign secretary Liz Truss refused to consider a windfall tax on energy companies like BP and Shell who are enjoying record profits due to the rising costs of oil.

She said: “The problem with a windfall tax is it makes it difficult to attract future investment into our country – so there is a cost in imposing a tax like that.”

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She added: “My view is that lower taxes are the best way to attract more investment – to get the businesses into this country that can create these high-paid jobs, which is what we need to face down these global headwinds.”

Challenged over the recent admission by BP’s boss Bernard Looney that a windfall tax would not halt its investment plans, she said: “Well then he can do more if he’s got more profits that have been raised during this period.”

The average pump price for petrol in the UK reached 167.64p a litre this week, the RAC said, surpassing the previous record of 167.30p set on 22 March.

Diesel prices rose to an average of 180.90p a litre at the end of Tuesday, passing the previous peak of 180.29p reached on Monday.

Compared to a year ago, when petrol averaged 128.38p a litre and diesel 130.80p, the cost of filling the typical 55-litre has risen from £70.61 to £92.20 for petrol and from £71.94 to £99.48 for diesel.

Luke Bosdet, the AA’s fuel price spokesperson, commented on chancellor Rishi Sunak’s fuel duty cut earlier in the year and what it will mean for drivers in the future.

He said: “Despite his best efforts, the Chancellor must feel like King Canute having tried to reverse the tide of rising pump prices.

“At least though, he can say that UK drivers would be £2.75 a tank even more worse off now had he not tried to take action in March.

He added: “He hasn’t been helped by a fuel trade that, despite a 16p-a-litre fall in petrol costs that coincided with the Spring Statement, couldn’t even pass on the full 5p fuel duty cut and the 1p VAT reduction that it brought with it.”

This comes as AA analysis has found that supermarkets offer the cheapest rates of petrol, just days after the Governor of the Bank of England warned of “apocalyptic” cost of living rises.

Drivers can save an average of 4.7p per litre on petrol and 4.6p at diesel compared to oil company sites.

However, motorists will need to deal with “pump price postcode lottery” which can see up to 8p-a-litre difference between towns.

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