Thursday, 24 March 2011

Is This Really A Budget For Motorists?

By Sunil Patel

One of the give-aways in the new budget was a fuel duty cut for motorists

George Osborne's attempt to answer the plea of millions of desperate UK motorists in yesterday’s budget has left some feeling short-changed.

The Chancellor has announced an eagerly awaited cut to fuel duty by a 1p and the scrapping of the controversial fuel escalator until 2015.

However disgruntled drivers, claiming that they had noticed some petrol stations increasing the price by a penny yesterday morning, only for them to reduce the price by the same amount after 6 pm in the evening.

Nye Davis from Basingstoke told BBC news that he noticed that his nearest garage had raised the price by as much as 2p.

Mr Davis said, "I was pretty angry and upset.

“To the consumer, it sends out completely the wrong message.”

Labour have also criticised the Chancellor’s fuel policy, pointing out that a 1p cut will give very little respite to the average motorist as petrol prices rose by 3p in January with the increase in VAT.

The government will pay for £2 billion fuel scheme by taxing North Sea oil companies who they feel have been harvesting bumper profits from the unprecedented price high of crude oil on the world markets.

Giving their reaction to the budget the motoring organisation the AA has backed the 1p fuel cut instead of 5p increase, which was scheduled by the government.

A spokesperson for the AA said, “A freeze in fuel duty prevents more pain at the pumps.”

The motoring organisation would like to see more targeted help for vulnerable groups.

He added, “Volunteer drivers, rural public transport and poorer rural drivers all need more help.

“Despite the freeze, more than 80p in the price of every litre of fuel goes directly to the treasury so the Government is already taking more than its fair share from drivers.”

Other significant budget measures include a two percent above inflation increase in excise duties on wines, spirits and beers.

Photograph from The Guardian

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