The RMI Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA) has positively welcomed the government’s decision to not go ahead with the 3ppl fuel duty increase in August.

Following a campaign by several groups including the Petrol Retailers Association who argued the fuel duty increase would damage the economy, Chancellor George Osborne announced that the government would freeze a 3ppl rise in fuel duty due in August until January 2013.

Brian Madderson, chairman of the PRA, said: "PRA has lobbied against the planned August increase since its announcement in Autumn 2011. PRA believes that fuel tax unfairly penalises low income earners, single families and rural communities that often have poor public transport alternatives. Driving habits are changing as consumers struggle to balance their household budgets.

"By delaying the duty increase the government now has time to review the economy in time for the Autumn Statement when further reviews of fuel tax can be made.

Madderson added that the PRA is concerned that the Chancellor is only delaying the duty increase until 2013. "If the increase was to go ahead in January the 3.02ppl will in fact amount to 4ppl due to the 20% VAT added, which we believe will deter the green shoots of economic recovery.

"With both oil companies and hypermarkets fighting for share of a declining market, the independent forecourt retailers have been caught in the cross-fire with many closing for business. PRA will continue to engage with government to ensure that businesses and the consumer are fully represented when future fuel taxation is being considered."