Wednesday, November 2, 2011
David Cameron is facing the prospect of a backbench rebellion over petrol prices, after more than 80 MPs supported calls for the Government to tackle rising fuel tax. The issue will be debated in parliament within two weeks, following a campaign against next year’s 3p increase in duty led by Robert Halfon, a Conservative MP. He said the majority of the 80 MPs currently in support of his motion are fellow Conservatives, with more expected to join by the end of the week. This could mean Mr Cameron has to face down angry backbenchers for a second time in a month, following last week’s dramatic debate over Britain’s relationship with Europe. Mr Halfon triggered the debate with the FairFuelUK Campaign Team by presenting 100,000 signatures of people opposed to the Treasury’s plans for a 3p petrol duty increase on January 1, plus a further inflationary rise in August.  He said soaring petrol prices is the "number one issue” worrying his constituents. "This is the biggest brake on economic growth, it’s crucifying businesses and it’s the biggest issue facing families,” Mr Halfon said. "We urgently need to do more. We need no new fuel taxes in this parliament. The duty rises that are planned for January and August 2012 must be scrapped, and the Government needs to pressure the oil companies to keep prices down.”  A spokesman for the Treasury said there were several key measures to help motorists in last year’s Budget, including a 1p cut in fuel duty."We’re aware of how difficult times are for motorists,” he added. Motoring groups are warning that petrol prices could actually rise 8p per litre next year, with increases to VAT and inflation adding to the January increase of 3p. Petrol prices are still near their record high of 137.43p reached in May this year, after the oil price spiked because of unrest in energy-rich. Please lobby your MP to attend this debate on November 15th



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ADD YOUR OWN COMMENTS BELOW THIS POST. THEY ARE VERY WELCOME


[ posted by Shaun, 02.11.11 12:38 ]

Could you please make an auto-emailer as you have previously done? They work really well for me.

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[ posted by carolsteed, 02.11.11 15:53 ]

please,please please ,attend this,my husband is a taxi driver and after paying his fuel we are living on 20-30 pounds a day if we are lucky

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[ posted by Christopher Wadsworth, 02.11.11 18:39 ]

Hi. Please please can you attend this. I work a hard full time hour job up to 60hrs a week sometimes working for minimum wage doing nights and we struggle to cope with the fuel prices let alone the cost of living, with everything else going up in price. I have a young family with 2 children and i can only just afford to pay my way by budgeting in everything with petrol costs, food and heating costing the most. It's ridiculous i cant even afford to pay into a pension let alone save anything for mine my wife's and children's future.

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[ posted by mark, 02.11.11 22:25 ]

this was the reply from my mp john glen
Dear Mark,

Thank you for contacting me about the high cost of fuel. I would like to start by saying I fully appreciate how expensive fuel is in the UK. High fuel prices are largely the result of the high price of oil internationally and this inevitably leads to inflated costs on the forecourt. It puts a great strain on all of us and does little to help our economic recovery.
...
I am also aware that the price of fuel is particularly hard hitting for both my rural constituents and small businesses; I am greatly sympathetic to those who need to travel more on a day to day basis and are being hit harder by the current prices. I understand why support for this campaign is so widespread; it is a problem that should be addressed.

In order to address the situation, the Government has announced measures to help mitigate the effects. It has cut the main duty rate by 1 penny in April this year and introduced a fair fuel stabiliser.

You may remember that the previous Labour Government introduced a fuel duty escalator which involved seven fuel duty increases. Three had already taken place at the time of the Budget, adding just over 3 pence to the price of petrol. There would also have been another increase of almost 5 pence per litre in April 2011.

Due to high oil prices, the escalator has been cancelled and all duty increases this year have been delayed. This has been paid for by an increase in tax on oil and gas producing companies, who are making unexpected profits on oil prices that are far higher than those they based their investment decisions on. In addition, the fuel stabiliser means that while oil prices are high, fuel duty will increase by inflation alone, and if the oil price falls below a set level on a sustained basis, the Government will increase fuel duty above inflation.

The Government wants to work with a range of stakeholders in the oil and gas industry, and road transport organisations who have been affected by fuel costs, to make sure a fuel stabiliser that actually works is put in place. I believe recent discussions with the oil industry about the key points they are now keen to see on the table, including the strike price, were considered to be fruitful.

As you will be aware, there is a great disparity between fuel prices across the country. The Government, however, only sets the rate of tax and not the price of fuel. The oil companies, fuel suppliers and station owners are those responsible for individual prices. The price depends on such factors as the oil supplier, the distance from the oil refinery, the cost of transportation to the depot and then petrol station, local business rates and costs and the prevalence of local competition.

I understand that the Fair Fuel e-petition has now reached more than 100,000 signatories. Any e-petition that gathers this level of support could be debated in the House of Commons. I understand that the House of Commons Backbench Business Committee has reviewed the request but unfortunately there is insufficient time over the next month to have a debate. However, the committee has not ruled out a debate in the future and I am sure that they are very aware of the importance of this topic. I am greatly supportive of the campaign; Robert Halfon is a personal friend whom I have great respect for. It is my hope that a debate will be tabled in the near future, and I will be doing all I can to assist him on this.

The Government postponed the planned inflation-only fuel duty rise from April 2011 to January 2012. It is my understanding that the Government still plans to proceed with this rise. This increase should be seen in the context of Ministers abolishing the last Government’s fuel escalator and replacing it with the fair fuel stabiliser that I outlined above. The overall effect of these measures means that by 2015-16, pump prices could be approximately 6.7p per litre lower than under the fuel duty escalator.

I am in full support of the campaign and I wish Robert Halfon every success in securing a Parliamentary debate, and will certainly be following any progress made on the issue.

Thank you for taking the time to write to me.

Best regards

John

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