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Cross-party group asks Chancellor George Osborne to act
7:00am Saturday 9th March 2013 in News
A Conservative MP from the district has urged George Osborne to cut fuel duty in this month’s Budget – warning that families have suffered enough.
Shipley MP Philip Davies is among a cross-party group of MPs – calling themselves FairFuelUK – which is pleading with the Chancellor to act.
Mr Osborne is widely expected to freeze duty again, having scrapped a 3p a litre rise that would have kicked in at the start of this year.
But FairFuelUK said even a further freeze was no longer an option because rising oil prices had pushed the cost of fuel at the pumps to near-record levels.
Mr Davies said: “Roughly two-thirds of the cost of a litre of petrol is tax, which I believe is extortionate.
“Many people are struggling with the cost of living and high petrol prices penalise hard-working families, as well as push up the cost of things we buy in the shops and supermarkets. That is why we need lower taxes on fuel.”
The MP spoke out just 24 hours after David Cameron appeared to dash hopes of a tax-cutting Budget, warning there is no such thing as a “magic money tree”. In his Keighley speech, the Prime Minister said: “Margaret Thatcher understood that a tax cut paid for by borrowed money is no tax cut at all.”
Mr Davies said: “I agree with that, but it is an argument for lower spending, not lower taxes, which would stimulate growth. I would take it off spending on overseas aid.”
FairFuelUK claims the support of 19 Tory and 15 Labour MPs, ahead of a crucial Budget on March 20.
According to the organisation, the combined fuel duty and VAT on a typical litre of petrol or diesel is now “an eye-watering 80p per litre”.
Yet its research suggested rising pump prices worried 74 per cent of people – far more than EU membership (12 per cent), the horsemeat scandal (2.6 per cent) and gay marriage (0.6 per cent). Studies had found a cut in fuel duty would do more to stimulate the UK economy than bringing back the 10p income tax band.