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Trusted Dealers urges Government to cut fuel duty

Trusted Dealers has urged the Chancellor to reduce fuel duty ahead of the Autumn Statement  on December 5.

The request follows on from the results of a survey showing the attitudes of UK motorists towards high fuel costs.

New research from 1,000 UK car owners carried out for Trusted Dealers in October 2013 revealed that an 79.9% reported their preference for a cut in fuel duty if relief could only be applied to one thing - dwarfing alcohol (8%), cigarettes (6.8%) and all others combined (5.3%).

Neil Addley, Trusted Dealers managing director, said: “People’s priorities are clear, with concern about fuel costs scoring so high because it is a necessity.”

The Chancellor is expected to announce a freeze on fuel duty in his statement, but Addley says this is not enough.

Since March 2011, the UK duty rate for unleaded petrol, diesel, biodiesel and bioethanol road fuels has been 57.95p per litre, with VAT of 20% also levied on that duty and then on the fuel price.

This means that out of November’s average UK unleaded pump price of 129.89p a litre, motorists would have paid the exchequer a total of 79.6p (57.95p duty and 21.65p VAT), nearly double the actual product price of 47.8p, leaving just 2p to be shared between the retailer and distributor.

Addley said: “We must have bold relief from a burden created by successive governments who have viewed motorists as a cash cow to be bled while occasionally justifying swingeing duty with lip service to environmental issues.

“It impinges on what is often a vital lifeline for individuals, particularly the poorest, erodes business margins and weakens national competitiveness with European countries, most of whom have a far lower fuel duty rate.

“With the recovery fragile at best and most consumers and businesses yet to feel it, a ‘holding pattern’ on fuel duty pending a future increase is not an option. The Chancellor now has a golden opportunity to capitalise on the biggest fall in petrol and diesel in five years and stimulate a real recovery by significantly reducing the cost of motoring and getting Britain moving again.”

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