Chancellor Rishi Sunak has revealed that the planned increase in fuel duty has been cancelled.
Announced as part of his Budget delivered in the House of Commons today (March 3), the move reflects a pledge by the Chancellor to do “whatever it takes” to help both people and business recover from the coronavirus crisis.
Sunak said today: “And right now, to keep the cost of living low, I’m not prepared to increase the cost of a tank of fuel. So the planned increase in fuel duty is also cancelled.”
The move has been welcomed by industry leaders, with the RAC’s head of policy Nicholas Lyles saying that the freeze would cause drivers to ‘breathe a sigh of relief’.
“We feared this would only pile further misery on drivers at a time when pump prices are on the rise and many household incomes are being squeezed as a result of the pandemic.
“Many drivers see their cars as a safe way to carry out essential journeys and believe having access to a vehicle is even more important as a result of the pandemic. If the Chancellor had raised fuel duty, he could have risked choking any economic recovery as it would have led to increased costs for consumers and businesses.”
Data released today by RAC Fuel Watch showed that motorists have had to endure the fourth consecutive month of fuel price rises in February, causing the cost of a full tank to soar nearly £5 above what was being paid late in 2020.
The data shows that the average price of fuel increased by 3p per litre, making a tank of unleaded £1.70 dearer than it was at the start of the month. The average cost of a litre of petrol stands at 123.38p, while diesel stands at 126.47p.