Retail consortium attacks fuel duty rises plan

Retailers have led calls to scrap the fuel duty increase planned for January but that will not be enough, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said.

Responding to an e-petition signed by more than 100,000 people and due to be debated in Parliament, the BRC said the Government should drop the 3.02 pence per litre increase planned for January but also the rise planned for next August.

That second increase would be based on September’s RPI which reached a 20 year high of 5.6 per cent. The two rises combined would mean duty increases totalling between seven and eight pence per litre.

The BRC wrote to Chancellor George Osborne last month calling for both 2012 increases to be abandoned in his Autumn Statement to help households and businesses who have already seen fuel, and other costs, increase substantially.

British Retail Consortium director general Stephen Robertson said: "Fuel price rises do double damage. More rises would eat further into customers’ budgets leaving them even less money to spend on the things they need and want. Plus retailers themselves will pay more to get goods to their shops, making it harder for them to keep shop prices down.

"With consumer spending and retail job numbers dropping, rebuilding the confidence of customers to spend and retailers to return to investing and creating jobs has to be the Chancellor’s priority.

"Giving businesses and households a clear signal that he will forego the two fuel duty increases planned for next year would be a valuable boost, particularly in the run up to Christmas. No-one can afford to pay more for fuel."

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