Today, the Chancellor announced a 5p fuel duty cut during the Spring Statement. While this is a step in the right direction, a 5p reduction is not comprehensive enough to reduce the burden on motorists. Other European countries have gone further: for example, Ireland has cut duty by 17p, leaving our members in Northern Ireland at a competitive disadvantage as they are unable to compete with prices across the border.
Oil prices have risen again today, meaning that rising prices will see the 5p cut cancelled out almost immediately. While the Chancellor was speaking, the price of Brent Crude went up by $6 a barrel. Furthermore, retailers still need to deplete their petrol and diesel stocks purchased before the duty cut, meaning that motorists won’t see a price change at the pumps immediately unless the Government backdates the duty cut to 1 March.
“The Government’s fuel duty announcement is a step in the right direction, but it does not go far enough to ease the burden on motorists. Retailers are holding duty-paid stock which will be sold before the fuel duty cuts come in. To give the motorist an immediate discount at the pumps, the Chancellor would have to backdate the fuel duty cut to 1 March,” Gordon Balmer, Executive Director of the PRA.
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.