PRA urges fuel duty cut

With over £5 billion year higher costs to consumer from rapidly rising fuel costs, Brian Madderson, Chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) has again written to the chancellor of the exchequer to state the overwhelming case for a three pence per litre cut in duty in his Autumn Statement.

There has been a ‘perfect storm’ hitting pump prices over recent weeks with news of a potential cut in oil production being discussed between OPEC and Russia plus the weakening of sterling versus US dollar. Global oil prices, as represented by Brent Crude, had moved up by 15 per cent but by far the biggest influence has been the near 25 per cent fall in the UK’s exchange rate against the US currency.

From an average pump price of 104 pence per litre (ppl) at the start of the year, the market is facing an average of 120ppl by Christmas – some 16ppl extra. With 35bn/litres of road fuel purchased annually, this extra cost could be taking over £5billion out of consumer’s pockets that would have been spent elsewhere. Inevitably, this will start to put the brakes on overall spending as well as pushing up inflation which is now expected to rise to 3 or even 4 per cent in 2017.

Madderson argues that the chancellor should use the windfall double tax gains (fixed duty at 57.95ppl plus 20 per cent vat) made this year from year-on-year increased fuel volumes to underwrite a significant fuel duty cut. This is a perfect opportunity to show that the government really does mean to keep the economy moving along when so many uncertainties lie ahead.

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