PRA welcomes Chancellor’s stance on police budgets and fuel duty freeze
With forecourt crime costing the economy an estimated £40million a year, petrol retailers across England and Wales have been threatened by police authorities refusing to investigate ‘drive-offs’* and other forecourt crimes if budget cuts were implemented.
Brian Madderson, Chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) comments, “The PRA welcomes the announcement of the maintenance of police budgets, following news that the Home Office recently established a Forecourt Crime Senior Steering Group with funding for at least 12 months.
“Forecourt crimes are most often committed by regular offenders, leading on to major theft and violence.
“Next week we are meeting with The Rt Hon Mike Penning MP, Minister of Crime and Policing to discuss measures that will significantly address this issue and now there will be a more positive approach.
“We look to real support from police authorities to eradicate this problem and our retailers will work positively with police through their forecourt CCTV systems to provide a real insight on serious criminal activity.
“The PRA believes that this should be a win – win situation both the police and retailers.”
There were concerns raised that the Chancellor would take the opportunity to raise fuel duty by 1 or 2ppl which would have provided almost £1 billion extra revenue for the Treasury over the next 12 months.
There was also speculation that he might increase the tax on diesel vehicles in an attempt to drive companies and motorists away from diesel vehicles in the wake of the recent emissions scandal.
Brian Madderson has received confirmation from the Treasury that fuel duty will remain at 57.95ppl on both grades until 31 March 2016 as announced in the Spring Budget.
He commented, “This is reassuring for motorists and businesses that are leading our economic revival. Road fuel volumes increased by over 1.1 per cent for the first half of 2015 compared to last year, and so the Chancellor is obtaining extra revenue of £300 million a year to help with funding in other areas.
“The Treasury monitors fuel taxation, usage and duty levels on a regular basis so we have to wait until next year’s Spring Budget for the next announcement on duty”.