Growing pressure on Chancellor Rishi Sunak from Tory MPs to slash fuel duty as costs soar

Fuel prices have spiked since the Russian invasion of Ukraine
Credit: PA
Fuel prices, already high, have spiked since the Russian invasion of Ukraine Credit: PA Images

More than 50 Tory MPs have signed an open letter to the chancellor urging him to slash fuel duty.

It comes after fears the country is heading for a "de facto lockdown" as people can no longer afford to drive due to soaring fuel prices.

The letter was organised by former education minister Rob Halfon, who is concerned that without swift action parents will soon no longer be able to afford to take their children to school while workers will struggle to get to work.

The letter, published in the Sun Newspaper, includes some of the biggest names in the Conservative Party, with former leader Ian Duncan Smith, Robert Jenrick and David Davis among the signatories.

The letter is designed to pile pressure on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to take action on the cost of living crisis. The chancellor is to give his Spring Budget Statement next week.

Speaking in the Commons on Thursday, the Harlow MP said: "The fact is motorists are paying £1.60-plus for their petrol and their diesel.

"We're heading to a de facto lockdown where parents can't afford to take their kids to school, where workers can't afford to commute by car and have to stay at home."

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps agreed to raise those concerns directly with Mr Sunak.

The letter claimed people were having to find an extra £20 each time they fill up, with hauliers having to fork out an additional £120 per refill.

It said the costs were "simply unaffordable for working families".

Pressure is growing on Chancellor Rishi Sunak ahead of his Spring Statement next week Credit: PA

Mr Halfon's letter adds: "The 12-year fuel duty freeze, which has saved motorists £15 every time they fill up, is extremely welcome, but the current circumstances mean the government must go further by either cutting fuel duty or reducing VAT on fuel.

"This could be done with the extra £2bn the government has received in fuel tax revenue as a direct result of the higher prices."

Family budgets are also being squeezed by a rise in energy costs for domestic gas and electricity, the cost of food and rising rents.

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has also called for more action to tackle the crisis, saying that the government "must intervene".