As winter draws to a close, another fuel duty rise looms, but can hard-up motorists take anymore?
A recent attempt in Parliament by the Labour to delay the January 3p rise in fuel duty may have bitten the dust, but Chancellor George Osborne will still have gotten the message and the chances of a freezing the next scheduled hike are high, according to commentators.
Labour’s hope that the New Year rise could be delayed until April was narrowly defeated, but strong feelings were made known in the house, particularly from shadow economic secretary Cathy Jamieson who said: “The Chancellor and Prime Minister might never have had to worry about the cost of filling up their cars, but millions of people across the country worry about that every day.”
Negative Public Opinion
Osborne and Primer Minister David Cameron may not have to worry about filling up, but the could face a wave of negative public opinion if they don’t tackle the looming hike.
The National Institute of Social Research believe that another increase in fuel prices could put as many as 35,000 out of work at a time when the Coalition Government is trying to get a hold on unemployment.
The Chancellor is due to make his Autumn Statement on December 5, and with mounting pressure from MPs within his own party, Osborne may be forced into at least delaying the rise anyway.
It certainly would be consistent with the Chancellor’s previous behaviour says Robert Oxley of the Taxpayers’ Alliance who believes a delay is inevitable, but still feels Osborne must do more for motorists.
“I think it’s a given he will delay it. If he doesn’t, there will be absolute uproar. He has to ease the pressure on hard-pressed motorists,” he told AutoExpress.
“A freeze would be acceptable, but we’d like it cancelled, or even cut,” he said.