Pressure on Chancellor to keep fuel duty frozen

Chancellor George Osborne. Photo: PA

With just weeks to go to the Autumn statement, there's renewed pressure on the Chancellor to keep the fuel duty frozen for another year.

It's due to go up by three pence a litre in January.

A delegation from the lobby group Fairfuel UK, led by TV presenter Quentin Wilson, is having talks this afternoon with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander.

The group wants the Chancellor to freeze fuel duty again, claiming that it's not just in the interests of motorists but the economy as a whole and that 35,000 jobs are at risk.

George Osborne announced last June that he was keeping the freeze in place for another six months.

Treasury officials say the cost in lost revenue to the Exchequer of freezing the duty last summer is estimated to be £550 million - a very expensive concession but one which the Chancellor may find difficult to retreat from given the pressure on family finances.