Campaigners fighting fuel duty rise say enough is enough

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Campaigners will be asking hard-pressed drivers to call on the Chancellor to scrap this summer’s 3p fuel duty rise.

People in the East Riding pay among the highest motoring taxes in the country and the TaxPayers’ Alliance is urging them to tell the Government “enough is enough”.

They will be collecting signatures in Beverley on Saturday for a petition calling on George Osborne to abandon plans announced in the Budget to increase duty in August and to commit to a reduction instead.

Alliance research examining “excessive” motoring taxes – which considers fuel duty, road tax and VAT minus environmental and road costs – showed that drivers in the East Riding paid the equivalent of £406.35 per person.

Motorists in Britain already pay the highest fuel duty in Europe, on top of road tax and VAT.

Andrew Allison, the Alliance’s National Grassroots Co-ordinator, said: “It is important that drivers deliver a clear message to George Osborne that enough is enough.

“Motorists already pay a record amount to fill up the tank and the highest fuel taxes in Europe aren’t helping. Although the Chancellor cannot influence the price of oil, he can reduce the amount drivers pay in excessive motoring taxes, which is currently £18.1bn. For many families using the car is a necessity, not a luxury. The Chancellor should ease the burden on taxpayers, not increase it.”

It comes as the campaign group FairFuelUK said 20,000 supporters had written to MPs in recent days urging them to scrap the rise in duty.

FairFuelUK said news that the UK economy shrank more than first estimated in the first three months of 2012, showed there was a “tearing urgency” to act.

The campaign’s founder, former haulier Peter Carroll, said: “We delivered research findings to the Prime Minister and Treasury that clearly shows a cut in fuel duty has the unique benefits of significantly boosting growth and, crucially, not harming Treasury revenues.

“Cutting fuel duty is the magic bullet to help UK plc and every family in the country – but the Government is refusing to use it. Even worse, it is still planning to hike duty by 3p on August 1st. Are they listening to their constituents?”

Alliance research also showed that as of September 2011 tax accounted for 60 per cent of the pump price in the UK – a greater percentage than any other EU country.

Local authority areas with the highest excess motoring taxes were Maldon and the Shetland Islands at more than £566 per person – while those in Tower Hamlets paid just £35. Leeds paid £222.69 per person, Sheffield £232.16, York £272.90 and Rotherham £280.60. Hull pays £175.40.

The Alliance will collect signatures outside Browns department store in Saturday Market, starting at 11am.