Fuel duty rise 'rethink' welcomed
News that Chancellor George Osborne could scrap a planned fuel duty rise in next week's Budget has been welcomed by motoring groups.
Reports suggest that Mr Osborne will announce he has abandoned the increase - expected to be about 3p a litre - that was due in the autumn.
The Chancellor has already scrapped a January rise and postponed another increase that was due next month.
"If the Chancellor really is scrapping the autumn increase then that will be very good news for motorists, for businesses and for the economy generally," said AA president Edmund King.
He went on: "We had already written to Mr Osborne saying that the high cost of fuel was likely to stay for some time and that it would give businesses confidence if they knew that the autumn increase was not going ahead.
"High fuel costs hit not only drivers but the entire economy. Any scrapping of planned fuel duty increases gives a degree of certainty to the country."
Mr King continued: "Not only does the Government get the fuel duty from petrol and diesel but it gets 20% VAT on the actual cost as well as the duty.
"Prices at the pumps have been rising of late so the Government has been getting in a lot of money."
After dips in pump prices in recent months, average petrol prices are back up to the 140p mark again, although there was some respite for motorists this week when supermarkets announced cuts which took effect on Wednesday.