Fuel duty hike in Budget would be a massive vote loser for the Tories

Jeremy Hunt delivers speech on plans for the UK economy

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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is under huge pressure to abandon a planned increase in fuel duty of 14p per litre. A new poll by Techne UK has revealed that 71 percent oppose the hike just days after 45 MPs backed the Fair Fuel UK campaign against the tax rise.

The survey of 1,624 voters by Techne UK for Express.co.uk showed that anger over the prospect of the first increase in fuel duty since 2011 has united all age groups, Brexiteers and Remainers, as well as supporters of all the main parties in opposition.

Even two-thirds of supporters of the Green Party, who most strongly believe in the climate change agenda, are against an increase.

Howard Cox, founder of Fair Fuel UK, said: “Even the small minority of net zero addicts in this poll, always so against the internal combustion engine must recognise, everything they have and appreciate in our homes, hospitals and businesses were once moved on a truck.

“Fuel Duty is a regressive tax and hits the poor hardest.

“With a fuel duty policy that has proved so successful since 2011, it would be bizarre for the Chancellor to change it. In fact, why the hell would Jeremy Hunt even consider sanctioning a tax rise that would shrink the economy, increase inflation, and add more to the dole queue?”

Mr Hunt had been planning the rise of 14p in the litre (12p plus VAT) but MPs from across different parties have been urging a rethink.

A study by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) found that the Chancellor has £97 billion of headroom to cancel tax rises or cuts some duties.

The poll revealed that three-quarters of 2019 Conservative voters and 2016 Leave voters also are against a duty rise on fuel.

Two-thirds of Labour voters also oppose the move.

The most against though are pensioners aged 65 and over with 80 percent in opposition.

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Last week former Hoem Secretary Priti Patel also delivered a warning against a rise after being of 45 MPs at the Fair Fuel UK All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG).

She said: “Keeping taxes on fuel down is vital to support the economy. Freezes on Fuel Duty since 2011 have saved households an estimated £24 billion.

“Keeping more money in the pockets of families – keeping fuel taxes down in this Budget vital to help those facing costs of living pressures.”

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