1P fuel duty cut already wiped out

The high price of crude oil is pushing up prices at the pumpsSoaring world oil prices have already wiped out the 1p fuel duty cut announced in the Budget, according to latest figures from the RAC.

It said the average price of petrol is now 133.55p a litre, which is 0.02p higher than the average price on March 23 when the duty cut was announced.

RAC motoring strategist Adrian Tink said: “The volatile oil market has meant that drivers have seen very little benefit from the duty cut. Prices are continuing to spiral upwards with no end in sight to the high prices.

“The Chancellor made a great deal about the ‘Fair Fuel Stabiliser’ but it’s only stabilising Government revenue. Motorists are still going to be hit by the rising cost of fuel.

“And just to add to the pain, the delayed inflationary increase of 3.02p is due to come in on January 1. Who knows what the price of fuel will be at this point?”

The AA said that, on average, diesel was now 140.13p a litre – within 0.13p of the record set on March 23.

The AA added that a year ago, petrol averaged 118.07p a litre and diesel 118.67p. For a two-car family, the £7.74 extra cost of filling a typical 50-litre tank has increased the monthly spend on petrol by £32.87.

AA public affairs head Paul Watters said: “The Government’s delay of the fuel duty increase prevented thousands of poorer drivers from being tipped into road fuel poverty and the 1p cut in duty was very welcome.

“However, the Chancellor must feel like King Canute trying to stop a tide of rising fuel prices that threaten to swamp family budgets, business survival and economic recovery.

“In 2008, energy ministers from around the world got together to discuss tackling the soaring oil and fuel prices. The same is needed now before the global economy is tipped back into recession by market fears driving up the price of oil beyond what is rational for the circumstances.”

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