There is likely to be a 1ppl increase on fuel duty for all diesel drivers in this afternoon’s Autumn Budget, according to PRA chairman Brian Madderson. 

"This would be a thinly disguised tax grab using air quality issues as justification,” he said.

Despite the Chancellor also planning a welcome 1ppl reduction to the duty on petrol, he said the move on diesel would benefit the Treasury by over £800 million a year. With 80% greater annual volumes, diesel is the fuel powering the nation’s road haulage industry and the wider economy.

“Along with other trade associations, we have repeatedly warned the Chancellor against such an economically regressive move because it will push up prices for consumer and businesses already suffering with inflation at a five year high.

“To force this increase at a time when crude oil and worldwide wholesale costs are ramping up, is also at odds with the Government’s avowed aim of supporting the UK economy in the lead up to our formal exit from the EU in 2019. Does the Chancellor really want to hammer already hard-pressed consumers, damage the economy, and make us less competitive with our European neighbours?"

The PRA has urged the Chancellor to scrap damaging duty differential plans, and instead boost the economy by introducing a major cut in fuel duty in April 2018.