While business and consumer groups have called for a cut in fuel duty ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on December 3, there are fears the Chancellor could bend to economic pressures and actually increase it.
PRA chairman Brian Madderson has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, asking him to reaffirm his promise to freeze fuel duty until May 2015.
Madderson explained: "As global crude oil prices and the UK pound continue to fall, the threat of the Government reverting to the fair fuel stabiliser is a growing concern for businesses and the public."
The crash of global crude oil prices over recent weeks has pushed Brent Crude Oil below $85 per barrel and analysts fear there could be further falls in the weeks ahead reaching as low as $75 per barrel.
Madderson’s concerns were heightened by Business Secretary Vince Cable, who announced during the Liberal Democrat Party Conference that he felt the pound was still overvalued by 10 to 15%.
Madderson continued: "This will drive the pound down towards $1.35, closing in on the stabilising ’trigger’ which is set at £45 per barrel. As the climate continues to be uncertain, the PRA is requesting the Chancellor re-commit to his promise and ensure fuel duty does not increase during the rest of this Parliament, remaining at 57.95ppl."
Meanwhile FairFuelUK (FFUK) has launched a challenge to the parties contesting next year’s general election with the publication of its Manifesto for Growth 2015.
The document was launched at the Houses of Parliament at an event attended by more than 50 MPs from across the parties. One of FFUK’s main demands is a call for a 3ppl cut in fuel duty. The call was backed by Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, who said: "The time has come to see a fuel duty cut.
"Lower fuel duty is good for jobs and for growth."