Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Quentin Willson with the NIESR Report he presented to Danny Alexander in the TreasuryIf I was a betting man (which I'm not), I'd say we've got a 70% chance of getting the planned 3p litre rise in duty planned for January deferred. A brave prediction you say, but FairFuel's meeting with Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to The Treasury, went very well indeed. Alexander is a politician with an economics background and rural constituency who clearly understands what high fuel costs do to remote communities and struggling businesses. Unlike so many other MPs and Ministers he didn't trot out the usual dreary stuff about appeasing 'motoring groups' or 'concessions for car drivers', but simply understood that raising duty means raising the prices of nearly everything we do and buy in the UK.

And he accepted our ground-breaking report from the National Institute for Economic and Social Research with enthusiasm, promising to give it an urgent priority and then put us in front of a panel of Treasury experts to field their questions on our methodology and modelling. Protest groups don't usually get such hospitality, access or engagement. In fact I'd say FairFuelUK's meeting was the closest any fuel duty campaign has ever got to Treasury decision makers. More significant still, nobody at any stage said that we'd got our sums wrong. We were all struck by the openness and genuine interest in our figures. Mind you, no one made any promises - you don't get that in politics - but our figures do stand scrutiny and I get the feeling that there's a real acceptance that this government is beginning to understand that they need to look at fuel duty in a different way.

Some may say we're being too polite and that we should roll out the barricades, but in a post 911 World that's not viable. The only way to change government thinking is to stun them with irrefutable numbers. Risking 35,000 jobs and reducing GDP is too high a price to pay for raising fuel duty, especially given that we're seeing the first tentative signs of a possible recovery. And risking a hike in interest rates, which would cost yet another 20,000 jobs, would be nothing short of insane.

These incontrovertible numbers (which The Treasury are going through as we speak) are what gives me the optimism to make my prediction that we may not see diesel pushed over the £1.50 barrier in January after all.

And let's not forget that FairFuelUK has been instrumental in convincing the government to hold back on 10p worth of duty rises, saving the UK economy £5 billion is needless extra fuel spend. Engaging with politicians like Danny Alexander is the best and most effective way of changing Treasury thinking. Fingers crossed.

The full report and its findings can be downloaded at: http://www.fairfueluk.com/niesr_report.html

Please donate to help the fight for lower fuel prices and a better deal for drivers

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[ posted by Phil Lee, 30.10.12 14:19 ]

Will the calculation be a public document - and in reverse if the treasury want to challenge it will they be transparent? One can only hope so.


[ posted by N Jukes, 30.10.12 14:38 ]

It seems to me that you have done the job for the government, who by your approach seem totally out of touch, which has been stated now. The fact that they are not sure of their own figures and the recourse from them, only goes to show that Alexander is not to be trusted. While this government gives billions away in foreign aid they expect the British people to keep paying for their mistakes and competence.


[ posted by Colin Muddimer, 30.10.12 15:18 ]

Pleasing outcome. Now all we need to do is to get diesel to be cheaper than petrol in the UK as it is in France without putting petrol up.


[ posted by Lee Holderness, 30.10.12 15:43 ]

Your doing a fantastic job Q and you have my full support.
Its confusing for me as to why there is tax on tax on fuel, Its got to be illegal to tax us twice for one product which has also been tax several times before it gets to our filler caps. I totally agree that the more tax they add keeps making more people unemployed and and push ALL other prices up, It will also lead on to less tax from what people spend or dont spend in other areas.
Hasn't duty already been paid when its imported?



[ posted by Jim King, 30.10.12 16:27 ]

I do admire your work at fairfueluk.com I really do, and I have no doubt its down to your hard work that the last increase was deferred. Many thanks to you for that.

Sadly I do not share your optimism that they will listen, sure they will tell you what you want to hear for now (at least until the police elections are over) then they will have to make "tough derisions". If they were serious and had listened then they would not be saying "I will campaign for the raise in January to be deferred" (deferred is not cancelled). No, if they were listening then they would respond by significantly cutting fuel duty right now, then they would promise not to raise it for the foreseeable future. I know I am a little cynical when it comes to government promises, just I remember certain blue cast iron promises, and Yellow promises on tuition fees, and Red promises on EU constitution referendums.

Though I should finish in the way I started this comment, that is Thank you fairfueluk.com for your campaign and that which you have acheived, it means a lot to many of us.


[ posted by pat newman, 01.11.12 15:15 ]

I think you are doing a great job trying to get this fuel duty stopped. As one of the comments previously said we are being taxed twice for the same product, how many other countries do this to their people.


[ posted by kenneth wood, 02.11.12 09:13 ]

Keep up the the good work with your campaign fairfueluk.com, It is outragous that this country is constantly bombarded with these fuel increases! it must cease w.i e, we send billions to the EEC, and bail other countries out of crisis! its about time this government and it,s predecessors i must say, started to keep an in-house policy with the UK, and start to consider the people of Britain primarily!! Commuters and the haulage industry cannot survive any more fuel increases which will cripple this country even more, enough is enough, after all the USA would not tolerate such fuel increases so why should we? put an end to this before there is anarchy on the streets, and roads grinding to a halt in peoples protests, dont let this happen !!!


[ posted by Archie McLachlan, 02.11.12 14:56 ]

We can see the result of successive Governments high taxation on Energy with Fuel Duty and Vat on Petrol and Diesel, Air Passenger Duty which has rocketed in the past year alone and the various surcharges on Gas and Electricity supplies.

For a nation that keeps looking across the pond to the U.S.for leadership, they only have to look at the many benefits of Low Cost Energy which are so evident in the U.S.


[ posted by Jeff McCann, 11.11.12 22:25 ]

Good work and thanks for all of your efforts, keep up the good work.

like many have said people only have a certain amount of money, be it through earned pay or pension payments. if fuel tax keeps going up like it has and the VAT stays high as it is then the economy will stay FLAT!!!.

there are two ways to get the economy moving again, a freeze or cut in fuel duty as your figures show. secondly to cut the VAT to at least 17%.

i think back to when VAT was cut to 15%..... our two businesses experienced a 5% increase in turnover so the tax proportion of that was good for the economy. then last year it went up to the current 20% our turnover went down 10%..

if both taxes were cut by rough calculations the economy should grow by 2.5%p.a. past records show proof of this. i have got many friends across the UK and had then email their MP to this effect so lets hope they listen again in westminster. at the end of the day if the economy keeps shrinking there will be less jobs costing them more in benefits.


[ posted by geoff stathers, 12.11.12 22:42 ]

Hi it is high time that the motorist is given a break from being the easy target,the huge tax added to the crazy tax so called road tax only to drive on roads in such a state that the motorists cars are costing even more money to keep on the road.I think it is time to stop borrowing millions of pounds to give away into black holes that will never end soaking our money.It would be great for us all to have a say in such matters,a national vote? all we hear on the tv about all the very large companies making huge profits & not paying tax in the uk.Could we have a list on tv for the nation to see who these huge tax dodgers are so we can avoid spending our hard earnt money that we have paid tax on,it may put pressure on them to ghange.


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