Mixed views on fuel costs

March 23, 2011, 8:30 PM GMT+0

A clear majority of the British public would support a cancellation of the planned hike in fuel duty, along with other measures to reduce or stabilise the cost of fuel, our survey for the Sunday Times has found.

  • 80% of people want the Government to cancel the planned 1 pence fuel duty increase
  • Only 12% think the fuel increase should go ahead
  • 71% would support a fuel stabiliser, whereby the level of tax on petrol would be reduced as the cost of fuel rose, and vice versa
  • 11% would not support a stabiliser
  • 77% would support the reduction of fuel VAT from the current 20% rate to the previous 17.5% rate
  • 14% disagree

Do we need to adapt?

The cost of fuel has risen considerably over the past decade and the average price is now just over 132 pence a litre, a report from the AA reveals. There have been calls for the Chancellor, George Osborne, to cancel the planned fuel duty increase in April or to reduce the new 20% VAT level on fuel back to the original 17.5% to help offset some of the increasing financial burden for motorists.

However, Green Party leader and only MP, Caroline Lucas, told The Guardian she thinks the fuel duty increase should go ahead and that, ‘the sooner we accept that higher fuel prices are here to stay, the sooner we can adapt our behaviour’.

Campaign group FairFuelUK emphasised public concern over the topic, saying, ‘People are deeply worried about fuel duty and it is the strongest domestic political issue of the moment’. It is unclear what will happen to the proposed fuel increase but George Osborne did tell the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show that he was ‘looking very carefully’ at freezing the duty in the Budget, announced today.

See the survey details and full results here