- 28 updates
Downing Street have said today that ministers were not informed of the Chancellor's decision to defer the increase in fuel duty at this morning's meeting of the Cabinet, which took place just hours before the announcement. The Prime Minister's official spokesman said:
Director of Policy for the Road Haulage Association Jack Semple has said today that he is delighted at the Chancellor's decision to abandon the 3.02p per litre duty increase until 2013 at the earliest.
Mr Semple said: "Today’s announcement will prevent further pressure being applied to the profitability and cash flow of UK hauliers in particular.
"The duty increase would have added £1,200 a year to the cost of running a truck. More widely, the Chancellor’s decision will be welcomed by businesses and consumers across the entire economy”.
Treasury sources have said today that the planned August rise of fuel duty has been deferred until January next year, at a one-off cost to the Exchequer of £550 million.
Sources insisted the announcement was timed for today because it was the last Treasury questions session in the Commons before MPs begin their summer recess next month. One source said:
John Walker, chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses has said today that the rise in fuel duty would have damaged small companies which were being "crippled by the high cost of petrol".
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has said today that the Chancellor's decision to scrap fuel duty is the "fastest u-turn in history" and was pleased that George Osborne had "backed down" on the plans.
Mr Balls said: “With u-turns on petrol, pasties, caravans, charities and churches, George Osborne's Budget is now in tatters - a truly omni-shambles of a Budget from a part-time Chancellor whose reputation is now badly damaged.
“But we now need to see a u-turn on the tax cut for millionaires and the tax rise on pensioners. And with Britain pushed into a double-dip recession, which means borrowing is now higher than last year, we need a u-turn on this Government's failed economic plan.”
Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors has responded to the Chancellor’s decision to scrap the 3p increase in fuel duty planned for August, saying that it was "welcome news" for the economy.
Quentin Willson, the national spokesman for the FairFuelUK campaign group has said today that the Chancellor's u-turn on a fuel duty increase was "democracy at its best". Mr Willson responded to the announcement:
"The Government has listened and have acted for the good of struggling consumers across the UK. This is democracy at its very best where a Government and a Chancellor can review decisions, and act with fairness and common sense".
British motoring association AA's president Edmund King has welcomed news that plans to increase fuel duty have been scrapped this year.
Mr King said that had the plan gone ahead, it would have siphoned £1.6 million a day from consumer spending into the pump and knocked out a third of price cuts:
The Chancellor told the Commons today that the Government were doing "everything we can" under 'difficult economic circumstances', after scrapping a rise in fuel duty. George Osborne said the fuel duty will now be 10p a litre lower than under the plans inherited from Labour:
Latest ITV News reports
What does this government has against grandparents? We've had u-turns on the pasty, caravan and the charity tax, but the granny tax remains.