With the economy in recession, the Chancellor should stop August’s fuel duty rise – my Sun article

Times are tough with higher VAT and prices rising faster than wages. Filling up the car is now a big drag on family budgets. While oil prices have fallen by a fifth since January, petrol pump prices have come down by just 1p.

And George Osborne’s Budget means a 3p hike in fuel duty in just five weeks time. This would send the wrong signal to retailers, who will inevitably pass every penny on to drivers – putting prices up just when they should be cutting them.

With Britain now in a double-dip recession, the last thing our economy needs right now is another tax rise adding to the squeeze. The government should be giving our economy a boost – not clobbering families, businesses and pensioners just at the wrong time.

That’s why Labour is calling on the Chancellor to stop August’s fuel duty rise – at least until next January. We will put it to a vote in Parliament next week. And we are asking MPs from all parties to stand up for their constituents and support us.

Ministers will say they can’t afford this – even though they found money to give a tax cut to millionaires. But there are many ways they could raise the funds.

They could close the tax loopholes David Cameron condemned last week – and stop the hundreds of millions of pounds lost through offshore tax havens. They could reverse the pension tax relief boost they’ve given to people on over £150,000. And they could use the £500 million under-spent in the Olympics budget.

Difficult decisions are needed to get the deficit down. That’s why Labour put up fuel duty in the past. But we often delayed or cancelled planned duty rises based on the circumstances at the time – including at the height of the global financial crisis.

Raising taxes and cutting spending too far and too fast has backfired – Britain has been pushed into a double-dip recession, more people are out of work and the result is a bigger benefits bill and £150 billion of extra borrowing. That is why we need a fairer and more balanced plan for our economy that gets people back to work. And it’s why the right thing for British businesses and families is to stop August’s 3p rise in fuel duty.

David Cameron and George Osborne may have never had to worry about the cost of filling up their car. But it’s time they started listening to those who do.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • email
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Twitter
Posted June 26th, 2012 by Ed