Fuel duty up­roar as pump prices to rise by 12p a litre

Daily Express - - LETTERS - By John Ing­ham Trans­port Edi­tor

PETROL prices are set to rocket by up to 8p a litre in the next few weeks, ex­perts said yes­ter­day.

Diesel driv­ers could be even worse off, with pump prices up by as much as 12p a litre.

The fore­cast comes fol­low­ing the price of Brent crude oil in­creas­ing by £13 a bar­rel since the mid­dle of this year, up by about 20 per cent.

It prompted calls for Chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond to scrap a fuel duty rise in his Au­tumn State­ment next week.

A bar­rel of oil is trad­ing at more than 63 dol­lars, the high­est since June 2015.

It means a def­i­nite price hike at the pumps for Bri­tain’s 37 mil­lion driv­ers. The RAC mo­tor­ing group pre­dicts petrol will rise by 3p a litre from its cur­rent 119p av­er­age, while diesel will go up 1p to 121p.

Si­mon Wil­liams, the RAC’s fuel spokesman, said: “Mo­torists are go­ing to be hit by ris­ing pump prices in the next few weeks.”

Ge­orge Buck­ley, UK econ­o­mist at in­vest­ment bank No­mura, pre­dicts hikes of be­tween 7p and 8p a litre.

If the av­er­age car uses about 35 litres of fuel a week, No­mura’s fore­casts would add £150 a year ex­tra to mo­tor­ing bills. Mr Buck­ley es­ti­mates that petrol prices are set to rise by 6.5 per cent at a time when food prices are go­ing up 3.5 per cent, but earn­ings are lag­ging be­hind at 2.2 per cent.

Howard Cox, of the pres­sure group Fair Fuel UK, called on Mr Ham­mond to freeze fuel duty in the state­ment next Wed­nes­day.

Duty has re­mained at 57.95p a litre since 2011, but diesel is taxed higher than other EU coun­tries. Mr Cox said: “Bri­tain’s strug­gling small traders and busi­nesses de­serve and need all the help they can get.”

Fur­ther rises in petrol and diesel will boost in­fla­tion and put pres­sure on the Bank of Eng­land to raise in­ter­est rates again, he warned.

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