Osborne 'set to freeze' fuel duty

Conservative rebels said they expect the Chancellor to freeze a planned 3p rise in fuel duty for another three to six months. The Government has defeated a Labour motion to postpone the duty rise by majority of 48.

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Last fuel duty freeze cost Exchequer around £550m

by - Political Correspondent

The Chancellor last announced a fuel duty freeze back in August, a move that Treasury figures suggest will have cost the Exchequer approximately £550 million.

But officials said that loss would be recovered by underspending in Government departments.

Figures in the Autumn Statement are expected to show how the fuel duty freeze has been paid for.

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PM's spokesman says Chancellor decides fuel duty alone

Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman earlier declined to comment on whether the Government might back down on the 3p fuel duty rise.

He said the controversial rise was a matter for the Chancellor.

There are a series of planned rises in fuel taxes programmed in and those will generate revenue which will help bring the deficit down. But what the Government has sought to do thus far is listen to the concerns of motorists and, where it can, delay or cancel those planned rises.

Decisions on tax and duties are a matter for the Chancellor. The Government obviously recognises that the cost of petrol is a significant part of day to day spending and that is why (it) has listened to the views of consumers and motorists and acted over the past two years by delaying or cancelling planned rises.

– PM's spokesman

Balls: Chancellor's made 'nods and winks' on fuel duty

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said George Osborne had been making "nods and winks" on fuel duty over the past 24 hours to dissuade Tory MPs from joining Labour in voting against the 3p rise today.

I would say to Conservative MPs, I wouldn't take a nod or a wink from this Chancellor as sufficient. I would want to make a clear statement to my constituents - this is the wrong thing to do and I am going to vote with Labour.

– Ed Balls, speaking to BBC Radio 4's World At One

MPs tweet ahead of vote on fuel duty rise

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Will be voting today with Labour colleagues to try to stop the Government's January fuel duty rise. Big concern in #Exeter & #Devon

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Am expecting @edballsmp to face a difficult reception in the Commons tonight, as he argues against his own 3p fuel rise. #opportunismexposed

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Cancelling the Fuel Duty3prise-this is the time for determined, patient lobbying of Chancellor, not parliamentary theatre backing Ed Balls

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