Rumours of plans to raise fuel duty have raised hackles in the fuel and motor industry sectors, and also prompted pledges of a fightback by organisations such as Logistics UK (FTA) and FairFuel UK.

Elizabeth de Jong, director of Policy at Logistics UK, which represents logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, said: “Logistics UK and its members are extremely concerned by rumours circulating of a significant fuel duty rise in the Autumn Budget. Logistics businesses have worked tirelessly during the pandemic to ensure the nation is supplied with all the goods and services it needs, all while operating at very tight margins and facing severe economic difficulties; a fuel duty rise would be a huge blow to their recovery.

“The 5p per litre rise – as is speculated in the media – would increase operating costs significantly at a time when margins are most stretched and cash flow is a real problem for many businesses. The UK already pays one of the highest fuel duty rates in Europe. Logistics UK is calling for a freeze on diesel and petrol fuel duty, in addition to a reduction in fuel duty for cleaner, lower carbon fuels to support the transition to a zero-emission industry.”

Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuelUK Campaign, on behalf of UK drivers said: “Do not make the world’s highest taxed drivers the fiscal fall guys in a post pandemic recovery budget. And hiding behind a green driven agenda to hike a regressive tax will be disingenuous and hit low-income drivers hardest. Instead, put much more money into people’s pockets. The extra consumer spending to drive up GDP, and all that goes with it, will help the economy recover quickly, the environment long term, and restore confidence in our beleagered Government. But by hitting drivers more in their pockets will driver Tory voters away from the once-popular Boris.”