Fuel Tax Cut of 5p Per Litre Mooted for Sunak’s Spring Mini-Budget

© REUTERS / JEFF OVERS/BBC / Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak appears on BBC's Sunday Morning presented by Sophie Raworth in LondonBritain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak appears on BBC's Sunday Morning presented by Sophie Raworth in London
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak appears on BBC's Sunday Morning presented by Sophie Raworth in London - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.03.2022
Petrol and diesel prices at the pumps have soared by 50p per litre since this time last year, driven by Western sanctions on Russia over the conflict in the Ukraine. Millions also face being driven into fuel poverty by speculation on natural gas, another major Russian export.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is reportedly mulling a 5p-per-litre cut in fuel duty in the spring mini-budget.
Interviewed on the BBC's Sunday Politics programme, Sunak said the price of filling up should not become "prohibitively expensive."
That lewd to media speculation that the free-spending chancellor could cut the fuel duty rate in his spring budget statement next week.
Government sanctions on the Russian energy industry and disinvestment by oil giants BP and Shell have seen prices at the pumps soar to record highs of £1.66 per litre for petrol and £1.77 for diesel.
Those figures stood at around £1.20 a year ago, amounting to a price rise of 45p a litre of 40 per cent inflation — adding roughly £25 to the cost of filling up the family car, according to the FairFuelUK campaign.
"If gas, electricity, water and telecoms get price protection bodies, why shouldn’t motorists have one too?" FairFuelUK founder Howard Cox asked, referring to regulators like Ofgem. "We need ‘PumpWatch’ now, to ensure pricing fairness for both consumers and hardworking fuel retailers too."
"The Government must recognise that reducing the cost of living should be their prime focus," Cox said. "Cutting Fuel Duty by at least 5p per litre, before pump prices become increasingly unaffordable and even more debilitating, is the morally right thing to do."
Newspaper The Times reported more rumours that Sunak cold raise the threshold for paying National Insurance (NI) contributions — Britain's social security tax — by enough to exempt 150,000 lower-income workers.
That could come into force before the 1.25 per cent NI rise to fund clearing the COVID-19 pandemic backlog of NHS treatments comes into force in April.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) and Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (R) leave 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly cabinet meeting in London on October 13, 2020 held at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.03.2022
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Long-term government plans to control energy price inflation include building new nuclear power plants, both the Small Modular Reactor units designed by Rolls-Royce and more conventional large stations.
At the Conservative Party spring conference in Blackpool on Saturday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to “make better use of our own naturally occurring hydrocarbons” — a potential reference to lifting the moratorium on 'fracking' extraction of natural gas.
But that faces opposition from religious leaders in both the Anglican and Catholic churches.
More than 50 bishops, including including former Church of England Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, have written to Johnson and Sunak urging them to block new oil and gas projects.
"New oil and gas production will not deliver lower energy bills for families facing fuel poverty and will have no impact on energy supply for years," the clergymen said.
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