Rishi Sunak announces fuel duty price freeze in Budget 2021

Experts are disappointed that no reduction was put in place, amid record fuel prices.

Lorry driver shortage
Lorry driver shortage

Rishi Sunak has announced that fuel duty will not increase, instead freezing the cost at 57.95p per litre.

There were fears that motorists’ wallets would be hit hard as the UK is already facing record high fuel costs as the price of a barrel of oil continues to rise.

Data from motoring organisation the RAC found that the average price of a litre of petrol hit 142.94p on Sunday (October 24), beating the previous record set in April 2012.

Brian Madderson, chairman of The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), said: “The cost of a barrel of oil has more than doubled over the last year, from $40 to around $85 now. Some analysts predict this could pass $90 by the end of the year.

“The cost of filling the typical 55-litre tank in a family car is now £20 more than it was in May 2020, when the average petrol pump price plunged to 106.48p a litre in lockdown. The typical motorist fills up twice a month, meaning fuel bills have increased by around £40 a month over this period.

“With pump prices at an eight-year high, PRA has been lobbying Government and the Treasury, in particular outlining the potentially damaging effects on the economy and household budgets of even an inflation-linked rise, so it is positive to hear the Chancellor’s commitment.”

However, while motorists will be pleased to see prices will not shoot up, some experts have revealed disappointment that Sunak did not take the opportunity to bring the cost of motoring down.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams welcomed the freeze, saying the cost of a litre of petrol could have hit 147p with a price rise, with diesel topping 150p, but said “we’re disappointed he did not provide some respite for drivers at the pumps”.

Williams added: “As VAT is charged on the final cost at the pumps, a temporary cut in VAT to motor fuels would have benefitted drivers immediately at a time when filling up the car is hurting household budgets more than ever before as well as the wider economy as people will have less money to spend.”

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