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Fuel duty rise postponed

Date: 16 July 2008   |   Author: Tom Webster

The proposed two pence fuel duty rise will not take place as planned in October, Chancellor Alistair Darling has announced.

"The global credit crunch and sharp rise in world oil prices have pushed up prices at the pump," said Darling.

"Today's decision will help motorists and businesses get through what is a difficult time for everyone."

A spokesman for the AA said: "Anything is to be welcomed, but it is a drop in the ocean compared to the price of fuel. The way fuel has been rising, this will absorb about five weeks of price rises.

"He [Darling] should look at the levels of fuel duty our European neighbours are paying - we should be at a benchmark with Europe."

The Freight Transport Association agreed, saying "The scrapping of the increase at a time of high world oil prices was inevitable. However, at 50p per litre, UK diesel duty for commercial vehicles is twice the EU average of just 25p per litre.

"The Government must now engage with the industry in order to find a practical means of bringing UK duty more in line with continental competitors. Failure to do so will only result in higher costs for UK industry and higher prices for UK consumers."

The news comes after a series of fuel protests, the most recent being by HGV drivers in London on 2 July.