Budget 2012: fuel duty rise attacked

* Chancellor urged to drop duty rise * Extra tax revenue could offset duty increase * Plans will be revealed in Budget on March 21...

Budget 2012: fuel duty rise attacked

Petrol retailers have urged the Chancellor to cancel the planned 3.02 pence per litre (ppl) increase on fuel duty, that's expected to be announced in the 2012 Budget on March 21.

RMI Petrol the organisation that speaks for UK petrol retailers wants the Government to use tax generated by rising fuel prices to offset the planned fuel duty increase.

Prices for unleaded petrol increased from 121.6ppl on May 12, 2010 to 138.0ppl last Wednesday, with diesel rising from 123.1ppl to 145.1ppl in the same period.

Political tensions between the West and Iran over its nuclear programme, along with sterlings weakness against the US dollar, mean petrol prices could rise to 142ppl by Easter, while diesel could reach 150ppl.

RMI Petrol claims that, in conjunction with the VAT increase to 20%, the rise in fuel prices since 2010 has generated 4 billion in revenue for the Government.

Brian Madderson, RMI Petrols chairman, said: The Chancellor must use this extra fuel tax to cancel the planned 3.02ppl increase in his March Budget. This is due to be implemented from August 1, which, with 20% VAT, will push pump prices up by another 4ppl, causing more misery for struggling small businesses and motorists, especially in rural areas.

In November 2011, George Osborne, postponed the 3.02ppl fuel duty rise, which was to be implemented in January 2012, saying that he recognised such increases would be tough for working families.

Emma Butcher