Call to scrap hike in fuel duty

The Coalition Government has come under immense pressure to scrap the planned fuel duty hike following a record rise in fuel prices.

Diesel rates catapulted to 133.3p per litre - the highest since July 2008 - while the cost of petrol jumped to 128.6p per litre.

On top of that, the Government is planning to hike petrol fuel duty by one pence.

There have been calls by motorists to freeze the hike in duty as rising fuel prices and an increase in VAT earlier this month have made it difficult for many to afford vehicles.

Chancellor George Osborne recently indicated that he may announce any changes to the Government's plan regarding the hike at the next budget in March.

Drivers are now paying 19.2p more for a litre of diesel than a year ago, adding £9.61 to the cost of filling a typical 50-litre car. Petrol costs 16.39p more than a year ago, adding £8.20 to the cost of a full tank.

Fuel duty now costs 58.95p per litre following a 0.76p increase on January 1. It also attracts VAT, which rose from 17.5% to 20% on January 4.

The Government is also looking at introducing a fuel stabiliser, an idea discussed by David Cameron in the run-up to the General Election. But business secretary Vince Cable said it would be difficult to devise a system that would work.

He also warned: "It is quite likely that we are going to get a nasty period of high fuel prices."

Copyright © Press Association 2011