Gordon Brown has given his strongest signal yet that the Government will not go ahead with the planned 2p-a-litre increase in fuel duty due in the autumn.
Giving evidence to the Commons Liaison Committee, the Prime Minister said that past increases had not been implemented.
'I think you will find that, in most years since 2000, the duty has actually been frozen,' he said.
Brown said any decision on fuel duty would be for Chancellor Alistair Darling in his pre-Budget Report in the autumn.
He also warned that rising demand for oil from Asia meant that the current pressure on prices could continue for years to come.
'If demand succeeds supply - and it's likely to exceed supply for years to come - people will expect the price to rise,' he said.
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