Chairman of RMI Petrol Brian Madderson has written to Chancellor George Osborne highlighting serious issues that must be considered ahead of the Budget.

The letter underlined significant evidence of consumer distress including more forecourt crime, 40% increase in breakdowns due to fuel run-outs, increase in cash purchases due to consumers struggling to manage budgets, and reduction of average fill volumes.

It also highlighted evidence of business distress with forecourt operators keeping fuel stocks at lowest ever due to cashflow and hauliers are not replacing vehicle fleets.

RMI Petrol has been advised by City sources that the Treasury could benefit from a windfall tax gain of more than £4.3bn per year from North Sea oil revenues, and it now estimates that a further £2.2bn is to be gained from the new 20% VAT rate on higher retail prices at the pump. Overall, the Treasury could benefit by more than £6.5bn in extra tax.

Said Madderson: “RMI Petrol calls for the Chancellor in his 23rd March Budget to not only abandon the Labour legacy of the fuel duty escalator which could see 5ppl duty engulf the UK on 1 April, but also to roll back duty by 2ppl to kick start the economy while the Middle East crisis continues.”