RMI Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA) has said it strongly supports the Prime Minister’s concern over the duty rise of 3.02ppl planned for August 1, which with the addition of VAT at 20%, will increase prices at the pump by 4ppl.

Brian Madderson, PRA chairman said: “David Cameron knows it is right to scrap this increase while the country struggles with a second recession. The decision to do so would not be a U-turn, but common sense prevailing as the economic outlook deteriorates.

“Road fuel is no longer a luxury but an essential part of everyday life. Retail sales only decreased by 1.2% in 2011 compared to the previous year confounding industry and tax experts. The planned duty increase will penalise lower income earners, pensioners and the unemployed and will push inflation up.

“The highly respected TaxPayers’ Alliance recently called for a 5ppl duty cut while confirming that the UK has the highest fuel tax levels in the EU27. This places UK industry and their hauliers at a real disadvantage to EU competition.

“UK retail fuel prices have decreased significantly over recent weeks and may fall further. The Treasury must not opportunistically press on with the duty rise in the hope that it will go unnoticed. Economic experts suggest that this second recession may run for some time and we need to keep our transport moving as competitively as possible. Ministers and motoring organisations accusing retailers of price profiteering are wide of the mark. It is the Government that would be tax profiteering if this increase is not immediately scrapped.”