BUSINESS leaders in Huddersfield have urged the Government to ditch plans to increase fuel duty by 2p a litre this autumn.
The Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce said that since the move was proposed in the March Budget, the price of crude oil had risen by 50% from 84 to 126 dollars a barrel – providing the government with more than £500m windfall tax revenue.
It said that figure equated to the revenue the Treasury expected to raise this financial year by imposing the 2p increase in October.
Chamber senior policy adviser Steven Leigh said: “This windfall is likely to continue for the rest of the financial year and in total the Government could benefit to the tune of over £3bn.
“On that basis, the Government has already had its projected increased fuel tax revenue for the year. There cannot be any justification for any further increases and the Government should immediately announce the cancellation of the proposed increase.”
Said Mr Leigh: “The economy is in a fragile state, and any further fuel tax increases will only make things more difficult for business and the hard-pressed British public.”
Director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, David Frost, said: “The rising cost of petrol is hitting everybody hard, not just businesses. Seeing the fuel gauge barely move when you put in £20 is frustrating and only going to get worse.”