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Fuel duty rise may still be scrapped

A petrol station pump13/11/12

By Michael Allen

It is a possibility that the 3p rise in fuel duty planned for January might be dropped from the autumn statement next month, the Government has hinted.

Although Labour lost a vote calling for the fuel duty increase to be abandoned, it seems they may still get their way yet.

The Government understands the financial pressures facing households, Treasury Economic Secretary, Sajid Javid said, and is "determined" to help with the cost of living.

Although he has been a prominent fuel duty campaigner Robert Halfon, a Conservative backbencher, decided not to back Labour's call for a fuel duty freeze.

The Harlow MP said this was because he believes that with Chancellor George Osborne's autumn statement approaching ministers are in "listening mode".

"I believe it is perfectly sensible and right to wait for the autumn statement, given the Government's record, given that they cut fuel duty last year and given that they have stopped two fuel duty rises," Mr Halfon told the Commons.

"You don't have to work [as a codebreaker] at Bletchley Park to read the signals that the Treasury is sending out about giving help with the cost of living."

Labour called for the increased to be postponed until at least next April, but was defeated by 282 votes to 234.

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