Fuel campaigners gathered at the House of Commons today (November 21), to tell MPs about the negative impact of January’s planned fuel duty increase.
Supporters of the FairFuelUK campaign, including The Freight Transport Association (FTA), the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and the RAC, made presentations to a panel of MPs.
The event was organised so that MPs could hear first hand how high road fuel prices and high fuel duty were affecting consumers and businesses. The event was chaired by Robert Halfon MP and addressed an audience of MPs from across the parties.
As part of the presentation, FTA managing director Policy & Communications James Hookham, gave evidence drawing attention to the huge impact of the cost of fuel on running a logistics organisation and the economic benefits of not going ahead with the rise.
Hookham said: "In the run-up to the Autumn Statement it is vital that every MP is aware of what’s at stake from an increase in fuel duty from January."
"FTA has taken this opportunity today to brief MPs from across the House on the threats that the increase in fuel duty will create to businesses and consumers and which support our case that the Chancellor should not only postpone the increase in January, but he should in fact reduce fuel duty by 3ppl and kick-start the economy."
Within his presentation James Hookham spelt out the five things everybody needs to know about fuel duty and why it should be cut:
1. Petrol really costs about 60p per litre (excluding duty and VAT).
2. Fuel duty is over half the total price that is paid at the time of purchase.
3. Fuel duty is a tax on work – it’s paid straight out of cash flow or household expenditure, not profits of savings.
4. Fuel duty is paid by everyone - businesses and hard working families.
5. A 3ppl rise in fuel duty costs a 10 vehicle freight operator approximately £14,000 – that could be a person’s wages!
RHA chief executive Geoff Dunning, said: "Each of the supporting groups gave a short presentation to the MPs present. We were able to provide them with a stark list of facts and figures that really pushed the message home. The good news is that those present certainly appeared to be genuinely concerned."
The RHA was also encouraged by the fact that each MP in attendance – regardless of political party – was keen to give advice on the best way forward regarding lobbying.
With only two weeks to go until the Autumn Statement, getting members and their employees to write to their MP as a matter of urgence, was the general message.
"We have to see this issue tackled as a matter of extreme urgency," concluded Geoff Dunning. "Let’s see a cut in fuel duty and free up the money in people’s pockets. At a time when so many are suffering financially, this is a sure fire way of getting the wheels of the economy moving."