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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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

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MPs tweet ahead of vote on fuel duty rise

FairFuelUK: 'Fuel rise could cost 35,000 jobs'

FairFuelUK spokesman Quentin Wilson with protesters Credit: REUTERS

The campaign group FairFuelUK previously said it believed the tax hike could will raise only £800 million, compared to Treasury projections that it would bring in £1.5 billion.

It could also cost as many as 35,000 jobs, it said.

The group will be campaigning at parliament today ahead of the debate and vote in the Commons.

Its spokesman, broadcaster Quentin Willson, said: "The momentum building up behind FairFuelUK's call to see this damaging 3p rise scrapped is becoming unstoppable.

"The Treasury appears to be listening. We welcome Labour pushing on this issue. Consumers are currently paying an eye-watering 80p-per-litre in combined fuel duty and VAT.

"This is socially unjust and adding another 3p in tax doesn't make sense for economic recovery and deficit reduction."

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