The chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), Brian Madderson, has revealed that the PRA has asked the Chancellor and his officials to cut fuel duty by 3ppl in next week’s Budget on 8 March.
At a meeting with senior officials at the Treasury this week (27 February), representatives of independent forecourt operators across the UK provided detailed arguments for pressing ahead with a fuel duty cut:
YOY road fuel volumes have increased by over 2.0% providing a tax windfall (duty + vat) of nearly £750M/year which would pay for half the recommended duty cut
The average cost of road fuel has risen rapidly over the last 12 months from 104ppl to 122ppl due to increasing global oil prices and the weakening GBP versus the USD
This 18ppl differential means that over £6.3B has been taken out of the discretionary spend by consumers and motorists on other goods and services which could ultimately start to reduce economic growth aspirations
The extra cost of road fuel is a significant element of the inflation basket and will push levels yet higher which could also impact on economic growth
The UK is a “road” based economy with close to 100% of all food being trucked and 80% of all other goods being moved by road. The increased fuel costs through 2016 will have to be passed on to provide financial sustainability for our essential road haulage industry
The outlook as confirmed during the recent International Petroleum Week held last month in London was that global oil is most likely to rise to US$65 to 70/barrel this year. This will force pump prices above 125ppl and onwards towards 130ppl
Brian Madderson commented, " We stressed that the Chancellor should not be tempted to demonise diesel, which is the fuel most used by commercial vehicle users.
“Creating a greater differential between diesel and unleaded grades could backfire and put the brakes on the economic recovery.
“Putting up diesel duty would be a crude attempt to encourage the take-up of petrol or electric vehicles.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
About the RMI
The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.