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Motor Show: Brown praises motor industry - but no word on fuel

Chancellor Gordon Brown, today, congratulated the UK's automotive industry on its contribution to the UK's economy, but he made no comment of Britain's excessive fuel duties.

During a visit to the Sunday Times Motor Show Live he said the 10-year science and innovation plan to be announced in the next few weeks will be “a major boost for manufacturing strength”.

"Building on the Manufacturing Advisory Service, capital allowances, corporation tax cuts and the Research and Development tax credit, we will seek to make Britain the best location for new investment and innovation.

"We will raise the level of science funding as a share of national income in the next spending review period," says Brown.

Ministers are understood to be making contingency plans to deal with a fresh round of fuel protests as petrol prices soar to a record high.

A meeting of UK government officials and oil industry representatives will discuss responses to possible protests. Brown plans to raise tax on motor fuel by 1.92 pence a litre in duty on 1 September. Prices have risen by 5p a litre this year. The average cost of fuel is now over 80p per litre.

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