RMI Petrol chairman welcomes January fuel-duty freeze
Even with this standstill, the UK still levies the highest duty on diesel in the European Union (EU). Duty needs to be cut by 26ppl to achieve parity with the average diesel rates across the EU. Foreign HGV’s and other diesel powered vehicles are still entering the UK with full tanks up to 1500 litre capacity. RMI Petrol estimates this duty disparity loses HM Treasury at least £1.2bn/year in fuel tax, as well as continuing to threaten our small/medium size hauliers. This needs to be urgently addressed by Government.
Madderson continued, ‘Whilst an easy option for the Treasury, fuel tax unfairly penalises the low income earners, single families and rural communities that often have poor public transport alternatives. There is evidence that driving habits are changing as consumers struggle to balance their household budgets.’
Retail fuel sold has dropped by over 4bn litres in the last 4 years mainly as a direct result of higher pump prices with the net duty increase of 7.60ppl and change from 15% to 20% VAT.
With both oil companies and hypermarkets fighting for share of a declining market, the independent forecourt retailers have been caught in the cross-fire with many closing for business. Overall, the UK has been losing an average 400 petrol filling stations every year in the last 10 years, justifying the recent claim by Palmer & Harvey that “fuel deserts”, both urban and rural, are rapidly emerging to the detriment of the consumer. There are now less than 8,750 sites.
‘RMI Petrol will continue to lobby Government and their officials to defer the duty increase still planned for 1 August next year. With RPI inflation indexing and 20% VAT the retail price impact could be 4.00ppl at the pump, which we argue is too much and too early in the cyclical recovery of the economy,’ added Madderson.