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Chancellor hints at scrapping fuel duty rise in April

28 January, 2011

Confusion is mounting as retailers and motorists receive mixed messages from the government about what it intends to do about continually rising fuel prices.

On January 27 Chancellor George Osborne told BBC West Midlands that he would consider overriding the next fuel duty increase in April, giving retailers hope that something will be done. But other Cabinet members have suggested otherwise.

Chairman of RMI Petrol Brian Madderson, who has been intensely lobbying the government to axe the fuel duty escalator, said that while such a move would be a “fantastic result”, he was not hopeful.

“Having listened again to recent interviews the concensus from David Cameron, Osborne and chief secretary Danny Alexander is that government will not take any action on fuel tax or even announce any changes ahead of the Budget on March 23,” he said.

“However, there is no real concensus on what to do – Cameron is talking about the fair fuel stabiliser and helping motorists; Osborne talks about overriding the next duty increase; Alexander says the government needs all the money it can get; and transport minister Philip Hammond says fuel prices are too high and something must be done.

“We have worked hard on behalf of our members and the public to raise awareness of the damaging impact of this further 5ppl tax increase. We hope to work with the government if they are looking at any sensible alternatives.”

Madderson is calling for government to involve the industry, especially in reconsidering the concept of a ‘fair fuel stabiliser’. In his latest letter to the Chancellor, Madderson has outlined his appraisal of the concept.