Thank you for getting in touch with me regarding fuel duty and the campaign led by FairFuel UK, and for the information you have highlighted.
I know only too well that high fuel prices can have a serious impact on household budgets and businesses across the country. From the large number of emails and letters I have received from constituents I understand that there are many people in our community who feel strongly about reports of a possible fuel duty rise in the Autumn Statement, which took place on 25 November 2015.
As you will be aware, the Chancellor announced no change to fuel duty in the Autumn Statement. However, it is interesting to note that the small print of the Spending Review documents shows the Treasury’s takings from fuel duty are expected to rise by £2.5 billion between 2014/15 and 2021/21. This has prompted concern from campaigners that the Chancellor will raise fuel duty by RPI in 2016.
I entirely understand these concerns particularly as the Chancellor’s ‘tax lock’ – legislation aimed at ensuring the Government keep their own promises on tax – only covers income tax, VAT and National Insurance, whilst excluding increases in other taxes such as fuel duty.
More generally, I believe this was a smoke and mirrors Spending Review which failed to address the big challenges facing the country and will leave working people worse off. The Chancellor was supposed to have eradicated the deficit by now but borrowing is still set to be £73.5bn this year. This is the slowest recovery in living memory but the Government fails to recognise that our economy is facing severe challenges with productivity revised down next year, the year after that and even the year after that. Average earnings are forecast to be down next year and every year until 2020 and real disposable income has been revised down this year also.
I am not convinced that the Treasury have established a sustainable approach to fuel duty questions and it will be worth watching the choices that the Chancellor now makes in the months and years ahead.
Thank you once again for writing to me and sharing your views. Please do not hesitate to get back in touch with any other queries you may have.