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MPs set to debate January 2012 fuel riseBack

MPs will debate a motion today which urges the government to reconsider the rise in Fuel costs which is set for January 2012.

The public are demanding that the government puts a halt on fuel prices following a public outcry in relation to the increasing rise of fuel at the pump.

An e-petition signed by more than 100,000 people was flagged up by MP Robert Halfon and supported by more than 100 other MPs.

Plans to increase fuel duty by 3p per litre were put in place by the government for January 2012, but the effect of this rise will see motorists paying an extra £1.50 to fill up the average car.

With petrol prices tripling in price in the past 20 years, it is becoming more and more difficult for motorists to afford to run their vehicles and many are turning to public transport as a cheaper and more efficient way to travel.

Although Chancellor George Orsbourne cut the annual fuel tax escalator whereby fuel duty rose by 1p above inflation each year, he only postponed the duty rise from April 2011 to January 2012 and from April 2012 to August 2012, meaning that a rise in imminent in January 2012.

MP, Mr Halfon has made it clear that high fuel prices are causing “immense difficulties” for small and medium sized businesses, referring to those lower paid workers who are currently paying a tenth of their income just to fill up their cars.

The motion put forward by Mr Halfon urges ministers to look at the impact of fuel tax rates on economic growth and unemployment levels, and suggests the government puts a price stabilisation mechanism in place which will even out fluctuations in fuel prices.

The AA has already emphasised how fuel prices are effecting the public, revealing that the average motorist will spend an extra £38 at the pump if the increased fuel tax goes ahead.

AA president Edmund King told BBC Radio 5Live that price increases were “socially divisive” and said that the nation was being divided into “drives” – people who can afford to drive – and “drive nots”, those that can’t.

Mr King went on to describe how motoring is an essential way of life for some people on low incomes who live in rural areas and need a car to simply get to work.

Fairfuel UK, a pressure group behind the e-petition presented to Parliament have expressed the need for “the whole fuel pricing issue to become open and transparent”, and have added that high fuel duty is “strangling the economy”.

Motoring journalist, Quentin Wilson speaking on behalf of Fairfuel UK said: “There are desperate, desperate people who cannot afford to use the roads. The effect on society at the moment has been absolutely desperate. Fuel duty is strangling us”.

The Treasury has already said it will introduce a “fair fuel stabiliser” to ensure price rises are capped to inflation when oil prices are high, with oil firms filling the gap by paying extra tax.

News of the government’s decision on the 3p tax rise will be revealed later today.

Posted by Leana Kell on 15/11/2011