The Chancellor’s decision to maintain his freeze on fuel duty increases in his Summer Budget has been welcomed.
Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association, commented: “The PRA has been lobbying Government and the Treasury on the subject of fuel duty, so it is good news to hear the Chancellor’s announcement.
“However, the PRA feels disappointed that the Chancellor has ignored both ours and many other motoring organisations pleas to cut duty by at least 2ppl. This would be a positive move which would boost the economy and improve household expenditure.
“While oil prices are expected to stay low, the oil market is notoriously hard to predict so there is always the chance that fuel prices will be considerably higher by the time of the Budget in March 2016 and any increase in duty would therefore have a negative effect on the economy.”
The Freight Transport Association said common sense had prevailed with the announcement of the freeze on fuel duty, but that it would continue to campaign for cuts on behalf of its members.
James Hookham, FTA’s deputy chief executive, said: “The Chancellor has listened to the voice of industry by keeping fuel duty at current levels, which is to be welcomed. However, the Government has emphasised that its primary objective is to protect the UK economy.
“We believe that reducing fuel duty would make a huge contribution to this objective and we will continue to campaign with FairFuelUK for a 3ppl cut in order to stimulate economic growth.”
No changes were made to alcohol or tobacco duties although the Budget Document revealed that the government had decided against the £150m levy on the tobacco industry which it consulted on after the Autumn statement. It said: “As tobacco duties have already increased this year and will continue to increase by more than inflation each year in this Parliament, the government has decided not to introduce a levy on tobacco manufacturers and importers.”