Rocketing oil prices wipe out Budget's 1p fuel duty cut
The price of a barrel of oil has soared since the start of the year due to unrest in North Africa and the Middle East. As a result, the AA says that the average UK price of petrol is now 133.55p a litre – the same as the record high on 21 March, two days before the Budget.
Meanwhile diesel is only 0.13p lower than its record price of 140.13p on the day of the Budget.
AA spokesman Paul Watters said: 'The Government's delay of the fuel duty increase prevented thousands of poorer drivers from being tipped into road fuel poverty and the 1p cut in duty was very welcome.
'However, the Chancellor must feel like King Canute trying to stop a tide of rising fuel prices that threaten to swamp family budgets, business survival and economic recovery.
'In 2008, energy ministers from around the world got together to discuss tackling the soaring oil and fuel prices. The same is needed now before the global economy is tipped back into recession by market fears driving up the price of oil beyond what is rational for the circumstances.'
Adrian Tink of the RAC added: 'The volatile oil market has meant that drivers have seen very little benefit from the duty cut. Prices are continuing to spiral upwards with no end in sight to the high prices.
'The Chancellor made a great deal about the "Fair Fuel Stabiliser" but it's only stabilising government revenue – motorists are still going to be hit by the rising cost of fuel.'
The IAM also added its comments, with Neil Greig, director of policy and research, saying: 'This is more bad news for motorists who are also forking out for inflation in every other area of their lives. Changing driving style can save up to 10% on fuel use. It's no longer an ethical choice, it's a money-saving essential – especially in rural areas where driving is a necessity. The best fuel-saver is a light right foot and anticipating the road ahead.'