Fuel duty campaigners lobbying MPs

Gazette & Herald: FairFuelUK has organised a mass lobby of Parliament to protest motoring taxes FairFuelUK has organised a mass lobby of Parliament to protest motoring taxes

Campaigners are to pile pressure on Chancellor George Osborne to lower motoring taxes through a mass lobby of Parliament.

Organised by the FairFuelUK group, the protest will include the delivery of a key report to 10 Downing Street.

The handover will be followed by a mass lobby of MPs after average petrol prices reached a record high of 137.79p a litre earlier this week, with diesel at an all-time high of 144.92p.

The report is from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). It says that even a modest cut in fuel duty of 2.5p per litre would create 180,000 new jobs.

The main findings of the CEBR report were conveyed to Treasury minister Chloe Smith last week when she met FairFuelUK spokesman Quentin Willson and the organisation's founder Peter Carroll. The meeting took place after separate findings showed that UK drivers were paying the highest fuel taxes in Europe.

Mr Willson said: "We have shared the findings of this report with MPs and ministers. However, with only weeks to go to the Budget, we are concerned that the Government is not listening and not taking on board the significance of these findings.

"For months, the Government has been wheeling out the same old argument that it can't afford to cut duty. Here is concrete evidence that it can make such a cut. Families and businesses are being crushed by these cruel levels of tax - 82p on every litre we buy. It's damaging the economy and holding back growth."

He continued: "The people are clamouring for the Government to look at fuel duty. This research shows that a cut in fuel duty won't cost the Treasury a penny. It can cut duty and do any of the other options if it so wishes. So it is wrong of the Government to say it's a choice between a fuel duty cut and other measures. It can, and should, cut fuel duty now."

The RAC's technical director, David Bizley, said: "These are dark days at Britain's forecourts, with a record fuel price seemingly a daily event. The spectre of a further fuel duty increase in August is unthinkable for the millions of motorists that are having to make daily choices on what trips they take and how to afford to take them.

"That's why RAC is here today giving those people a voice and supporting the Fair Fuel campaign. This is a critical Budget for drivers - the Chancellor can either do the right thing and act on the CEBR report, or he can consign motorists to a cruel summer at the pumps."

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