Rishi Sunak quizzed on fuel duty by Sophy Ridge
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Rishi Sunak is likely to use his spring statement on Wednesday to cut fuel duty by as much as 5p per litre in order to show voters he is ‘on their side’. The chancellor is facing mounting pressure from all angles to act in order to help with the current cost of living crisis.
More than 50 Conservative MPs are calling for a cut in fuel duty to reduce the price of petrol and diesel.
Mr Sunak has warned he cannot “fully protect” the public from the rising costs but he is expected to slash the amount of duty on fuel this week.
Drivers in the UK currently pay 57.95p a litre on fuel, one of the highest levels of tax in the world.
More than 50 percent of the cost of petrol in the UK is made up of fuel duty and VAT.
Any cut in the duty made this week is likely to be temporary and comes as the Chancellor is resisting calls to scrap a rise in National insurance contributions next month.
Former cabinet minister Sir John Redwood said: “Taking a bit off petrol and diesel is fine and welcome, but if that’s all there is it will be too little, too late.
“We are facing a very big cost of living squeeze – perhaps the biggest of our lifetimes – and we need to be cutting taxes now to relieve that pressure.
“The Chancellor needs to back off all the tax rises he was planning – the national insurance rise should not go ahead, we should cut VAT on fuel, and we should cut it on energy saving products like insulation too.”
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Regarding the soaring cost of living in the UK, Martin Lewis told the BBC: “I’ve been a money saving expert since 2000. I’ve been through the financial crash, I’ve been through Covid.
“Where we are right now, this is the worst.
“There is absolute panic and it has not started yet.
“(And) The big drive here is fuel and energy prices.”
Oil prices are currently at over $100 (£75) per barrel as the war in Ukraine continues to raise fears over supply.
On Friday the average cost of petrol in the UK stood at 165.89p per litre, a historic high.
Diesel was even more expensive at 176.76p per litre and comes as the Government is restricting the use of rebated diesels from next month.
Drivers and organisations from industries which use ‘red diesel’ to delay the restrictions, fearing that some companies may go out of business due to the higher costs.
Mr Sunak told the BBC on Sunday: “I wish Government could solve absolutely every problem and that I could fully protect people against all the challenges that lie ahead.
“I can’t do that, but what I would say is, I will stand by them in the same way that I have done in the past couple of years.
“Obviously I can’t comment on specific things.
“But what I would say, I understand that…I have a rural constituency, people are incredibly reliant on their cars and this is one of the biggest bills that people face, watching it go up.
“We’re all seeing that, when we’re filling up our cars. I get that, that’s why we’ve frozen fuel duty already.”
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