The March Budget could signal the end of lower pump prices if Chancellor George Osborne decides to raise petrol and diesel taxes after failing to keep a lid on government borrowing.

That’s the prediction of Ramsay MacDonald, retail director of Certas Energy, who urges him to look elsewhere to balance his books.

“With the economic recovery so fragile, any hike in fuel prices will hit motorists and businesses hard and further weaken confidence. The Government already takes 70% of the cost of a litre of fuel in taxes while independent petrol retailers work on margins of just a few pence. It’s an easy target for the chancellor but economically irresponsible.”

Certas Energy supplies fuels to over 1,200 service stations including 500 Gulf branded forecourts and is one of the largest fuel and lubricant distributors in Britain, supplying six billion litres of fuel to domestic, commercial, agricultural and industrial customers each year.