The RAC has called on the Government to scrap the planned rise in fuel duty in August at a time when drivers are being hit by record fuel prices and are struggling to cope with the impact of high motoring costs.
In its latest annual report on motoring it says the cost of motoring remains the primary concern for drivers in 2012, with 30% of motorists saying this is their primary concern, and 61% that it is one of their top five motoring concerns. More than half of drivers have cut down or combined the journeys they take this year, the majority in order to cut costs.
The RAC Report on Motoring 2012 reveals that motorists are continuing to give up important day-to-day activities by car as a result of the high cost of motoring; while rural drivers, who have little viable alternative to the car, continue to suffer in particular from high costs. Eighty five per cent of people who live in the countryside say they would find it very difficult to adjust their lifestyle to being without a car, compared to 69% of urban dwellers. While motorists are driving less to save money, the remaining essential journeys they take mean drivers feel more dependent on their cars than previously. Thirty one per cent of motorists feel more dependent on their vehicle than one year ago, and 45% are more dependent now than five years ago on their car.
The RAC also calls on Government to respond to the recent report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research demonstrating that a cut in fuel duty would stimulate growth, create jobs and be fiscally neutral for the Treasury. It wants the Government to revisit and amend the new Fair Fuel Stabiliser, which will do nothing to lower the price of fuel at the pumps as presently constructed.
The RAC concludes that a proper mechanism is needed which actively reduces fuel duty in response to rising crude oil prices. It says rising prices themselves would offset any reduction in tax revenue from lower fuel duty as a result of increased tax from VAT and North Sea oil taxes.