Northern Tory MPs vent anger over potential fuel duty hike

‘I’d be crucified if I supported it’: Northern Tory MPs vent anger over Rishi Sunak’s potential fuel duty hike to help fill coronavirus black hole in UK’s finances

  • A rise in fuel duty of up to 2p per litre is said to be ‘inevitable,’ after 10 year freeze
  • Northern Tory MPs have warned they will not be ‘bullied,’ into accepting the hike
  • Study published last year warned fuel duty rise could put up to 8,000 jobs at risk

Northern Tory MPs have vented their frustrations over Rishi Sunak’s potential plan to hike fuel duty to fill the black hole coronavirus has left in the UK’s finances.

Fuel duty, which has stood at 57.95p a litre since 2011, could rise by 1p or 2p when the Chancellor unveils his next budget, it has been claimed. 

But MPs who won seats off Labour at the 2019 General Election fear they could be ‘crucified,’ for supporting the hike.

One said the rise would see ‘the wrong people paying for the pandemic’.

Northern Conservative MPs have warned they will not be ‘bullied,’ into accepting a rise in fuel duty of up to 2p per litre. A hike in the tax is said to be ‘inevitable,’ ahead of Rishi Sunak’s budget on March 3 

An unnamed Conservative MP told The Sun: ‘We do have to pay off the debt from the  pandemic — but it must not be done by fleecing motorists. They are being screwed from all sides. I stood on tax cuts and won. I’d be crucified if I supported a rise in filling-up tax.

‘I’m not being bullied into doing that.’

Public finances have been dealt a £340billion blow as the pandemic has caused businesses to furlough workers or shut altogether since March.

Fuel duty rises are seen to be ‘inevitable’ after a decade-long freeze, sources told the Mail on Sunday last week, while a 1p or 2p increase in a litre of fuel is believed to be ‘bearable’ in the circumstances, it was said.

However, research published last November suggested rising fuel duty would not have a strong impact on the country’s recovery. 

Analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) suggests a 2p rise will cut GDP by almost £600million and lead to around 8,000 job losses.

They say a rise in fuel duty will only have a ‘miniscule role’ in sorting the nation’s finances and will cause harm to businesses increasingly reliant on online deliveries.

Fuel duty, which has stood at 57.95p a litre since 2011, could rise by 1p or 2p at the next budget, but analysis last year warned the hike could actually put more jobs at risk

Poorest drivers would be hit hardest and any rise would be seen as a ‘tax imposed by London on the regions’ as Londoners spend only half as much on fuel as the rest of the UK.

‘The effects of a rise in fuel duty will be hitting sectors that already feel that they have faced an excessive increase in the burdens on them that result from government policy,’ the report says.

The CEBR also makes clear that any benefits from fuel duty will quickly fade away as electric vehicles become more popular.

The UK’s next budget will be announced on March 3. 

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