In just 2 weeks fuel duty will rise again, bringing the total tax paid at the pumps to 71 pence in every pound – despite Prime Minister Gordon Brown promising not to raise fuel duty.
Watch Brown pledge to freeze fuel duty. (1.40m – 2.02m)
Fuel duty is set to rise by roughly 2 pence per litre on April 1st meaning that 66 pence of the average litre of fuel goes directly to the Treasury.
Fuel tax goes into a central government tax pot. It’s not necessarily allocated back out to motoring, so fuel tax can be spent on anything – the NHS, housing, pensions or even banking bailouts.
At the height of soaring pump prices Brown made a promise during Prime Minister’s Questions on July 16th 2008 not to raise fuel duty for a year.
He stated: “In recognition of the problem people face with petrol, we are freezing duty on petrol for the full year.”
Brown broke this promise in December 2008 when he added 2 pence per litre to fuel duty to offset the reduction of VAT to 15% – a move which angered UK hauliers who are able to claim fuel VAT back, but not fuel duty.
He is set to break the promise for a second time on April 1st when fuel duty on unleaded and diesel will rise 1.84 pence per litre. Including the additional 15% VAT on top this will make the rise at the pumps around 2 pence per litre.
The Treasury have said that the only time further changes to fuel duty can take place are at the next Budget – which has been postponed from March until April 22nd, after the duty rise comes in.
Do you think the Budget has been postponed to push through a duty rise unchallenged? Do you think it’s fair that 71% of the cost of a litre of fuel goes directly to the Treasury? Should Brown be held to account for breaking his promise not to raise fuel duty? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.