23% Fuel Duty Hike Starts March 2023 But Not Mentioned In U.K. Chancellor’s Autumn Statement – Forbes

Jeremy Hunt leaves his home on a bicycle in central London in 2017. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP) … [+] (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
According to the U.K.’s budget watchdog, British motorists will be paying more for their (fossil) fuels next year. A 23% increase in fuel duty will be imposed from March, predicts a paragraph in the Office of Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) backgrounder to today’s Autumn Statement by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.
The increase would net the U.K. government $6 billion, says the OBR. Chancellor Hunt did not mention the measure in his statement to parliament, 17 November.
“This would be a record cash increase,” said the OBR’s Economic and Fiscal Outlook published earlier today. It would raise the price of petrol and diesel by around 12 pence a litre.
Fuel duty has been frozen in the U.K. since January 2011.
In today’s statement Hunt confirmed that electric cars would become subject to vehicle excise duty, but he did not announce any plans to introduce road pricing.
Earlier, Hunt had been delivered a letter from 24 Conservative MPs urging him to cut fuel duty.
Among the MPs calling for the cut was former home secretary Priti Patel. Other signatories include 1922 Committee chair Sir Graham Brady and former Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis. The letter was sent by former education minister Jonathan Gullis, and echoed the opinions of Howard Cox, chair of the Fair Fuel UK campaign group.
“My fellow MPs and I want to see fuel duty cut to stimulate growth,” started the letter.
“We have seen record high prices in filling up at the pumps in the last 12 months, and despite a strengthening pound and significant wholesale falls in recent weeks, petrol is still 22p/litre higher than back in January,” complained Gullis.
The MP called on the Chancellor to meet with him and Fair Fuel UK’s Cox to discuss the claimed “blatant unchecked profiteering in the fuel supply chain.”
Cox said Hunt should “wake up to the reality and be a real Tory.”
Upon hearing that fuel duty could be reimposed from next year, Cox said he would fight the measure “tooth and nail.” He called any reimposition of fuel duty a “bombshell” and claimed it was “sneaky” that Hunt did not mention it in his Autumn Statement.
Despite the fact the OBR included the measure in today’s fiscal outlook analysis it does not follow that the Chancellor will definitely unfreeze the duty.
A Treasury spokesperson said: “The 23% figure came from the OBR not the Treasury and it’s based on forecasts that are subject to change.”
The spokesperson added:
“We have not announced anything on fuel duty today; the existing 5p cut will remain in place until March 2023 and final decisions on fuel duty rates will be made at the Spring Budget.”


Leave a Comment