Pressure grows for action over high prices drivers pay for fuel

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THE Government is under mounting pressure from MPs to tackle high petrol and diesel prices amid claims every person is paying nearly £300 a year in “excess” green taxes.

More than 100 MPs have now signed a Commons motion to be debated next week which warns high fuel prices are causing “immense difficulties” for small firms which crucial to the recovery.

Keighley’s Tory MP Kris Hopkins has told the Government that “more needs to be done” to help families and businesses.

Demands for action will be intensified by a report from the TaxPayers’ Alliance campaign today which claims that motorists are paying £18bn a year in “excess” green taxes. The “excess” is calculated as the amount raised in fuel duty and vehicle excise duty, minus road spending and the “social cost” of transport emissions.

Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “British motorists are hit unfairly hard by motoring taxes that are far too high. Families in the suburbs and rural areas suffer the most as driving is so often essential outside city centres.

“Politicians should stop ripping-off British motorists with the highest taxes on petrol in the EU.” Rural areas are hardest hit – with the average motorist in Hull paying an excess of £175 while those in Selby face a £449 excess.

More than 110,000 people have signed an e-petition calling for planned 4p fuel duty increases in January and August to be scrapped, which has sparked Tuesday’s Commons debate. But the motion to be debated by MPs is more general – urging the Government to press for falls in oil prices to be passed on to consumers and for Ministers to consider introducing a price stabilisation mechanism to limit the impact of fluctuations in pump prices.

Mr Hopkins called for “imaginative ways” to be found to lessen the burden caused by rising fuel prices on families and businesses.

“More still needs to be done to help families and businesses to stay on the road during what will remain a difficult economic climate for some time to come,” he said.

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