Fuel Duty To Rise From Midnight

(BBC) – A TWO PENCE RISE IN FUEL DUTY will come into effect from midnight, the third increase in nine months.

Stephen Glaister, director of road users pressure group RAC Foundation, told the BBC the government’s latest rise ‘will hit everybody hard.’

When VAT is included, the increase will actually total 2.3p. The average price of petrol across the UK is about 105p per litre.

The government says the extra duty is needed to help fund public investment.

AA president Edmund King said the timing of the rise was ‘pretty dire,’ at a time when the UK economy was trying to exit recession.

Mr King said its members were already having to cut back on car journeys due to the high price of fuel, and that this would only increase following the latest rise, meaning the government’s revenues will not actually rise.

The Petrol Retailers Association pointed out that the price of fuel would increase again when VAT increases from 15% to 17.5% at the end of the year.

‘It would have been preferable for the government to defer this increase until 2010,’ its spokesman said.

Jo Tanner, director of communications at the Freight Transport Association (FTA), said existing high fuel prices were already having a ‘huge affect’ on its members.

She said the freight transport sector had already seen its fuel bills rise by £800m since last December, at the same time as a 50% increase in insolvencies.

Richard George, a road and climate campaigner at the Campaign for Better Transport, said the government should be spending the duty increase on public transport, and not just putting it into the government’s general budget.

‘If the money was going into public transport, drivers would be better off as there would be less cars on the road, less congestion for them,’ he said.

Supermarket group Morrisons said it would not be increasing the cost of fuel at its forecourts until 6 September.

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Asda Slashes Petrol And Diesel Prices to 99.9p

(Mail) – SUPERMARKET CHAIN ASDA cut its fuel prices to 99.9p per litre today, saying there was ‘no justification’ to charge more than £1 at the pumps.

The price cut was made on petrol and diesel at the company’s 176 forecourts. It is the first time petrol has cost less than £1 since the start of June, saving drivers about £2 to fill up a typical family car, and £2.50 for motorists with diesel vehicles.

Asda commercial director David Miles said: ‘There is no justification for any major retailer selling fuel above £1 per litre — that is why we are delighted to be able to reduce both petrol and diesel to 99.9p per litre for all our customers in line with falling costs.’

The price of a barrel of oil has slumped by more than $10 to about $62 — less than half the level it reached at its height last year.

But despite the fall, oil companies and petrol retailers have again been slow to pass on the savings to motorists.

Yesterday the Government came under pressure to scrap the 2p rise on fuel duty in September to help struggling families and businesses.

Commons leader Harriet Harman said consumers had to be protected from rising prices. She said: ‘I think there is a real concern about the increase in fuel prices, not only the cost of petrol at the pumps; but also the effect on people in their homes and businesses of the increase of the oil price.’

… (31/08/2009) – Fuel Duty To Rise From Midnight